Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Poem by James Diaz

In the corner of the sitting, an action, then, perhaps even less

Things would be- and were being, ruled out- even finding incapacity, it’s own or not
it’s own, in where/what we could try to do, to be in the sound, that moment the hearing
is alerted, is giving and rising to an attention- to a size and the side of the thing, seized,
water (even) pushing the seed mark, to it’s barren, bearable, what continues, to speak
and remember, wanting to give light to the contour woman, to its love, (her) un-mother
and un-tethered, body breathing, as if the trace of an igloo had made itself known
in a place where no snow had ever been, no accumulation ever, bird and form-bird and
bath seed and freeze the frazzle sky (figuring-configuring empty) a house that
moment-memory ( scent is traveling to) the debris, the question of mutancy- of who has
brought what and to whom-

I can’t afford that going ‘into things’ this clearly, defined with
a way to write- conifer, nettle- poem’s undergrowth, from that tangled dispersal which
would be the moment, or contain the entry to the moment, when you could look into the
thing and discern or take with you the discerning of how shapes are happening, arriving,
gifting themselves, in a way that leaves everything to be explained, and with a portion
of ourselves that couldn’t begin to undertake it, the saying something about something,
conterminous bodies forged together, with the beside and the almost ‘nearly’, cross touching,
giving away the controvert seed, any vestige of birth that would argue against itself,
to come up against the variable, of sea and sound in the idea of who we are,
strange donation and even stranger it’s interior excised of any recognizable impression,
the heart-breath going to the window and drawing in the detail it cannot perfectly name.

And like the still dust of our rooms made visible by the light, that is the fortitude of life,
it’s beauty and addition needing to be seen, savoured, drunk, taken in with bathing
composure, to dress the vegetable in water and the water with ourselves, until and up
to that point a converging vegetative liquid body aligns it’s seen self with the light that is
afforded any room, shot through with an outside, a cosy immersion, but in it all the
ingredients of lovable-livable life.

James Diaz was born in North Carolina and raised in various parts of the south. He currently resides in upstate New York. He is previously unpublished.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Poem by April Salzano

Close the Window
I am not cold, I am hungry,
but the high wind is not blowing anymore.
It is crawling toward me with the darkest sincerity.
I cannot look light in its face,
and it refuses to look at me, but the smell
of cotton hangs in the air and I am pretending
I know what it means to be poor
when all I can do is count my blessings
like raw soap shavings whittled off a bar.
They fall at my feet and I consider
in all honesty
licking them to know the taste of someone
else and bad language. A punishment.
When I can’t do anything else, I can do that.
And I can’t. Do anything else.
Except that.
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on raising a child with Autsim. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, Deadsnakes, The Rainbow Rose and other online and print journals and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly and Bluestem.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two Poems by Samantha Seto


Emptied his mind so the heart feels
light, lifted into the bright sky
to praise the worlds of letting-go.

The cherry wood near rosebuds.
Untimely flowers leave
blood-drops on the snow.

Recipe blue note in his pocket:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 eggs
1 crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup chopped nuts
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/4 pound butter
1 lb sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

It was the last thing he remembered.

Left the house shattered,
broken windows in living room,
black streaks mark the beaten floor.

Fierce explosions of vacancy remain.

Ways to Mind

If our collective CPR stopped, medicine lost charge,
our last breath would synchronize into one.

Despite every passing second, alive
for all who breathed us in, we are a pair of doves.

1. Into the Mind

My coat hung low on my body,
I held out my hand so that we could
cross the treacherous bridge together,
I wouldn't go alone.

We were prisoners to the trees.
Childhood memories shattering the grounds,
rocks of flowing river below my barefeet.

2. Past Movement

Above a small stiff sheet of white bedroom.
In painting impracticalities coming nearer out of time.

3. End to Me

Cracked, underneath two long bleached handles
and some melancholy stains, like dried blood,
where the clothwork has worn away.

Samantha Seto is a writer. She has been published in various anthologies including Ceremony, The Screech Owl, Nostrovia Poetry, Soul Fountain, and Black Magnolias Journal.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Poems by Patrick Williamson



to fox
no, no, no



no-mans land
to wit, me

break cover


The flip side

The pot boiled over, I burned myself
in the shadows, in that oblivion
seeking memory. It all tasted bitter sweet
being inaction - shifting pebbles, sight
a distant horizon
we crossed over
to the beyond, I questioned
plucking layers from the people I met
until nothing but air was left
my hot air - trash, waster, split & spliff
this memo is good for the can, Jack-
subtract the groups and the personal
add a touch of 'thusiasm and some ecstatic
and it all totals good material
for a memory-black out
one giant blank               thing unheard of

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator currently living near Paris. He has translated Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr. In 1995 and 2003, he was invited to the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec. He is the editor of Quarante et un poètes de Grande-Bretagne (Ecrits des Forges/Le Temps de Cerises, 2003) and editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Latest poetry collections: Locked in, or out?, Red Ceilings Press, and Bacon, Bits, & Buriton, Corrupt Press, both in 2011.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Poems by Sy Roth

Hirsute Fantasy

Hair sloughs like snake skins
In piles on the pillow, fashion
Auburn berms where dreams hide
In petite oases of the mind.

In morning, the gatherers
Count them like sheep
Baaing relentlessly at the loss.
Shimmering tracks of emptiness

Lay there in Saharan deserts.
Hairy sentries left behind, nomads,
Find a final resting place
Wadded in toilet tissue.

Comb overs hide the wadis
Visible when the sun shoots
Rays through them.
From behind mirrors capture them.

Brown dot sun-mound, a camel, rests
In that desert waiting
For the others to jump ship
Before hair spray attempts to hold them hostage.

Two Pictures Resting Side-by-Side

They were not lovers, the two pictures,
but reminiscences of elapsed youth,
sand-buried tortoises crawling gravely to the ocean.
Virtual reality in both.

In one, an afro rests like a Brillo pad on his pate.
Detractors called it a head in a nest.
He answered, yo-yo-yo, no!
Creaseless brow,
shadowed smile,
all subterfuge.
Zippered shirt reveals décolletage.
Youthful hairs sprout like Saguaro cactuses in a beige desert.
Slick stream of sweat on the exposed chest makes it glisten.
Dash of brio as he leans on a table posing for the air
aping the King Kong poster pasted on the door.
In the heat of the room, he melts,
awaits the writers to appear,
glad he is not wearing a tie.

In the other, the kinchin attempts callow savoir faire.
Thin beard, a sling of curls, sparsely wraps lobe to lobe.
Downturned mustache, a thatch of tendrils, faintly meets van Dyke.
Smileless Mona Lisa’s eyes stare blankly at the world,
contemplates all from within, without emotion.
No longer tight-curled, Russian cap flaps hide ears and brow,
Sikh man posed, head tilted a few degrees from normal.

Resting side-by-side, the tie creates the difference.
No ties with what has passed, only vestiges,
inexact memories behind the hollow eyes.

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out.  Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworth.  Retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, The Weekender, The Squawk Back, Dead Snakes, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Scapegoat Review, The Artistic Muse, Inclement, Napalm and Novocain, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, Subliminal Interiors, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, The Penwood Review, The Rampallian, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Full of Crow, Abisinth Literary Review, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Wilderness House Literary Review, St. Elsewhere Journal, The Neglected Ratio, The Weekenders and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Poems by Karla Linn Merrifield

Neotropical Hexagram

I am an avian, as in:

(river)              -headed
(flood)             -crested
(canopy)          -capped

(monkey)         -crowned
(sloth)              -hooded
(bat, dolphin)   -eyed

(vine)               -billed
(cecropia)        -backed
(bromeliad)     -collared

(bee)               -throated
(ant)               -fronted
(wasp)            -bellied

(moth)            -tailed
(morpho)        -legged
(grasshopper) -footed

(sun)              -tipped
(sun)             -winged
(sun)             -Amazonas

The Two Dead Rivers of Florida

flow like flash fiction…

Darn it, Angel, I told you they were tiny. Think enameled fingernail clippings in aquatic hues. I warned you they were difficult to find without a small-scale atlas. You could have borrowed my Delorme. You could have done nicely with free handout maps from the rangers in the two state parks wherein their supposedly-protected boundaries lie! But, nooooooo. You didn’t even ask for directions. So you ended up deader than a dead river in Florida. Way off course. Lost in the sawgrass. Eaten alive.

a jingle…

           The Dead Rivers of Flor-id-ah, Flor-id-ah,
           the Dead Rivers of Flor-id-ah, Flor-id-ah
           will sparkle your saddest winter day-o!


            Screech owl’s eerie whinny
            across marshland tidal miles—
           Dead rivers dead.

or like this, guidebook style:

Though neither is artesian spring-fed, as short fresh streams, the two Dead Rivers of Florida slowly rise. They are not crystalline, nor are they an agreeable constant temperature. They snake through spartina grass and needle-tipped reeds, passing the nests of denizen alligators.

Mathematically, Florida’s two Dead Rivers
suggest a sluggish parallelism.

          Though one is lake-bound, mid-centrally,
          green, potable; its claim to fame:
          baptizing the last of the Alachua….
          the other journeys to a confluence
          near the Panhandle Gulf; brackish-brown,
          undrinkable; it’s notable for drowning
          the last of the Apalachee...
          they share a common destiny common
          to too many of their watery kind.

The Dead Rivers of Florida
are fraternal twins of poison
at the vanishing point.
As I’ve been saying,
same name, same brief story—

or a magic trick:

        Now you see them, now you don’t.

                               for Eve Anthony Hanninen
The Story of @
@, who is my lover,
             my vagabond time-
                           traveling s@isfier
since c. 1345,
           when, in syncop@ed Bulgarian transl@ion,
                    he did curiously situ@e
his varieg@ted self—
           @ as in amin
                        th@ is, amen.
During the Italian Renaissance,
          he migr@ed; commercial inspir@ion
                         made my money-honeyed bedm@e lather
Saliv@ing, @ denoted in 1448
             Aragon’s wheat shipments,
                          and opi@ed @ motiv@ed.
Who? Wh@? Goya! Buñuel!
             to voluptuous sc@tering p@terns
                         of sp@ial lust.
Spread-eagled in 1674, I @e
            the very first @, swallowed
                       @’s annot@ion for at (en Français).
My bold, royal paramour—
                          anticip@ed accountants
and @ is recre@ed as the r@e of,
            my nimble cre@ure of equ@ions:
                         e.g., 8 lib@ions @ $8 = $64.
S@iating himself in 1884,
             he licked my ring finger tip—
                          Shift + @ > caress.
of earliest Underwoods; I pressed
             against @ until he mut@ed
                         into email loc@ions in 1971.
Now? 42 years l@er, @’s ardor
             is unabbrevi@ed, unmunged; he enters
                        my inbox, again, again.
By 2012, answering to ampersand,
           @, the amperset;
                       @, the @nifier; @, mon amour
rot@es me in cyberspace.
              klmerrifield kisses @
                            n@turally, like second n@ure.
Karla Linn Merrifield recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber - The Contemporary West in 2012. A seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, she has had 300+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has nine books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Heartlink) and The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press). Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry is Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North, and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Her Godwit: Poems of Canada. (FootHills) received the 2009 Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye ( Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Poems by J.R. Carson




in some haphazard fashion like the

smile hanging from her
dis[illusion]ed lips the night

she walked away - that night
I said "p[each]es" when I
should have said "apple"

low-hanging fruit d[angling]
from a dead

in some concrete grove filtering the lives of
barren women
and fetid men;

men like [badge]rs chucking and fucking and

pret[end]ing to love her
dis[illusion]ed lips holding
up the haphazardly hinged smile like
some rotten fruit oft [romantic]ized by
grizzled faces

at        l  a   n   g   u   i   d                     paces
in some coffee shop on the edge of town:

she s[cream]s

and on my own tongue I still


Prayer for Dissimilation

Organized hate is no more divine.

A church of peace can not crusade.

The politic of religion is oxymoronic.

A god that divides will never reign.

These are undeniable truths denied

every day by crass
individuals speaking for masses

that have          voice,
that have          mind,
that have          faith,

though you’d never know it through
the thick and bloody fog of
             murder             excused
as war.

I am not the one
that bombed your hospital
with the red cross as target,

I am not the one
that reduced your house of
blocks square to rubble ragged,

I am not the one
that stole your husbands and sons from
your homes in the lie of night.

I am not responsible for these things, yet
I am represented by those who

(this is where you pause to think)

Fair is a four letter word
                         (like race),

that means nothing yet is fought over by

One man        hates       another
for his            love         of a third yet claims
an all-loving  god.

One child strikes another
for his shoes made by a third
an                                                                  ocean away.

Whosoever protects the weak -
           shall be treated as weak.

Whosoever defends the different -
           shall be treated as different.

Whosoever cries out against ruthlessness -
           shall be treated ruthlessly.

So sayeth the Shepherd -
           so sayeth the sheep!

These are undeniable truths upheld

every day by sanctified individuals
speaking at masses

with    voice,
with    mind,
with    faith,

such that you’ll never know the truth through
the thick and ruddy fog of
            rape disguised
as disease.

These passageways were
meant for boys
            to become men,

not the reverse,
            not the perverse,
                        not the verse:

of words changed by the ruling

party                 countless times
over                  thousands of years.

Would that god(!) should leave a mark,
a footstep not filled by those

by the weight of his church
                for believing

in some           other god,
but the                        same god,
yet a               different god –
not                 my god.

A building and two sticks don’t make
one pious,

a prayer and two songs won’t grant
one salvation,

a tear and two hands won’t bring
one forgiveness.

But a gun and two bullets…
                                                                       (one for you
                                       one for me),

what a wonderful world it would be.


J.R. Carson has multiple prose pieces in publications such as Anathematic, Skive Magazine, and Defenestration. An award-winning playwright, his poetry placed at the 2006 Sandhills Writers Conference and garnered him an invitation to Bread Loaf in 2007. In most of his work, he tries to tell at least three different stories from at least five different points of view, or whatever the cosmos may give him.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Poems by Christopher Kenneth Hanson

A Fictional Heist

Dostoyevsky sits in sudden shock-
tumbling down the dust bound safes
and missing keys-
They are locked tight of course,
his action, known to be quite in desperation.
The crew will let sparks fly past
steel black compartments and greasy wheels of chance-
While two blundering buffoons pry and push the black kettle safe
into the mid-day light.
As now, their dear patron- Dostoyevsky now
wipes two tears from a worn cheek,
slips outside of the bank-
And remembers his father, killed by thugs-
whom used liquor to suffocate.
Stressed out completely after seeing this cogently- this image in mind,
Dostoyevsky takes his crimson bandana off- drops his paint gun rifle,
finds a space under a nearby cherry blossom- locates a ball point pen,
then finishes final chapters to Notes From Under The Earth.

Stray Animal Blues

Instinctual antecedence,
as dual incidence-
said inference drift through sullied court,
daft and wanting,
As newborn scent; As newborn scribe-
flummoxing by known pristine points
In awkward relief of reality.
Cantankerous, yet baffled by jovial types bearing contingencies.
Yet, let that same type laud the insurmountable stone wall,
that peaks *here*
And keep out or in a system of belief that requires
sanctuary as left posited concern:
Quite quixotical with sordid symbology,
so seemingly incongruent poesy,
as only systemic assumptions of truth lie dependent-
Indeed, advantageous with word play,
No mechanical, socially stratified
controls *here*: stray animal blues.

Christopher Kenneth Hanson (ckhanson81)}

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Poem by Brenton Booth


yes yes yes
egg faced sand tango’s
stone legged tourists smile and break
soap edged guillotines lather weary grey palings
orange peel crabs drink stinging bees—
running barefoot on the melting ice


the sledgehammer jabbing away at my coward spirit
like lightning chewing on an albino cat:
while cars drive by worth more than my last five working years
and i worry about losing the next.

Brenton Booth resides in Sydney, Australia. If you would like to read other work of his, you can find it in 3:AM Magazine, Thunder Sandwich, Dogzplot, Underground Voices, Shot Glass Journal, Red Fez, Gutter Eloquence, Citizens for Decent Literature, Zygote in my Coffee, Mad Swirl, Rusty Truck, Full of Crow, Camel Saloon, Yellow Mama, Napalm and Novocain, and Storm Cycle(Anthology).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Two Poems by Sy Roth


Headless creatures buried in performance.
Arms entwined like fence wire surrounding an open field
they wrap their emotion in cellophane in a
profane desire to keep it fresh.

Around them machines twist and squirm
through the mud of their lusty imaginations,
digging holes where none existed,
then filling them with ambrosial thoughts of satisfaction,
uncompromising sounds of squeaking foundations
built on that which will ultimately rot.

Peeping toms measure and define duration and viability,
a circadian rhythmical moment.
Like dying embers that float on a mission to nowhere,
expunged with one delectable breath of wind.
The front loader mounded with dirt
buries them both under it and
they breathe in the pungent odors of their labors
without desire.


They said he was worthless because he had contradictions.
They wanted straight, he gave them crooked stories
that travel at the same speed as two passing trains, giving the illusion of standing still.

Their lavish tales a scarlet letter hung from him like an awful name imposed at birth.
Suitcases were crammed with those stories,
inauthentic, gold-embossed, stamped prime tales in which
real deeds lay festering, pus-filled vestigial organs corrupting the body.

Maligned by the tattlers and naysayers converts into reality.
Empty entities shadow-stretched over sidewalks and bifurcated roads,
miserables nestled among the miserables find room for their aggrandizement
in The Inquirer or poisoned words in liquid ears.

What they say, fixed in time and space, sediment clouding the sweet wine.
He must bear the albatross pursued eternally by them, waiting for the silence.
Incarceration the reward for being hungry for freedom.

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. cRetired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Bong is Bard, The Artistic Muse, Palimpsest, Dead Snakes, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Poem by Lynn Hoffman

the intelligent design cafe

you were probably wondering what happened
to life’s first drafts, the rough sketches, paper models
and little cream cheese sculptures molded on the kitchen table
with a butter knife-you know, the ones with peppercorns for eyes.

you may have had a moment of sadness thinking
of the three-eyed people and the frogs with wheels for legs.
maybe you wondered about the squirrels with glass-clear skin
and rubber teeth and the whiskerless cats with radar.

well step right in you finished product you,
take a walk around the intelligent design cafe.
the place where the first drafts have a draft
and the dead ends sit chatting on their dead ends.

the Designer, it turns out, was a pretty decent guy
and he figured that if you worked for Him
you shouldn’t get laid off. the distinction of extinction?
well, he’d leave that for the evo-devo darwinists.

and that is why this very day, in the intelligent design cafe
the influenza virus is bellied up to your cytoplasm with the virus that
only tells fart jokes and that all the people who believe
in the intelligent design cafe
can somehow breathe the same air as all the ones who don’t.

Lynn Hoffman has been a merchant seaman, teacher, chef and cab driver. This year, he's been Visiting Professor at the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing and Visiting Professor in Hospitality at Hoa Sen University in Saigon. So far he's published two novels, The Bachelor's Cat and Paula Sherman and the National Rifle Association. He's also written The New Short Course in Wine and The Short Course in Beer. Right now he's working on a second, expanded edition of the beer book. A few years ago, he started writing poetry. 

His poem, The Would-be Lepidopterist has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Other poetry has appeared in Angelic Dynamo, Melusine, gutter eloquence, Off the Coast, Waterways, Abramelin, Referential,The Broad Street Review, Sephyrus and Short, Fast and Deadly. His main influences are Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Billy Collins, Groucho Marx and Ogden Nash. There is a chapbook forthcoming from Thunderclap Press called Boom: Poems for a Certain Generation.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Three Poems by Felino A. Soriano

from Of these voices


serrated tongues’ connotation versions a being
collaborates into emotional tissue of connective

queried rolling of mind-body anecdotal parallels

                           then of stone the imperative patience

improving upon mood of abandoned intervention:



ideology has
                                                                                an elegant stirring finger
whose structural caress

              (of guide then gilded affirmation among gratitude’s desire)

is the broken bend now of reflectional disparity:           as/or


change’s intuitive
                           fades then attaches
to the tail of an echo’s fundamental annex

until the disagreeing of political becoming shoves
distinction of self into a visual alteration,


blue in the green of distance

rust, the spectrum’s other beautiful manifestation

                           combination |colors| coincide

                                        in the accentuated flow of collision

brand the
undead rendition of meld                    or

melting of pluralized meaning

meanders and instills
as does the water unfading by arid

                                                                                                  touching distance’s precision
with a modulating inheritance of interpretive

Felino A. Soriano has authored nearly five dozen collections of poetry, including the collaborative volume with poet, Heller Levinson and visual artist, Linda Lynch, Hinge Trio (La Alameda Press, 2012) rhythm:s (Fowlpox Press, 2012), and Quartet Dialogues (white sky ebooks, 2012). He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is the director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities. For further information, please visit