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Thursday, January 31, 2008


by Michele F. Cooper

The thought takes an unconventional turn
for the worse
on the theme of likeability,
sits like rock salt on a swiveling stool
at the far right of the dais,
feels cranky, indisposed,
threads unsnipped as she wipes
the friendly slate for streaks,
remembers banking
the million-dollar smile
should the subject come up.
She sees the word likeable
on the invisible screen
between her and the cameras,
Barack looking at his desk
as he declares likeable enough,
wonders about enough,
sees the clocks for Paris, London,
and LA ticking off the frozen seconds
the insults, the sniffings,
as the razor question
takes position for tomorrow’s news.
Are you likeable enough? Well?—are you??
The thought looks down,
counts one, counts two,
twinkles hurts my feelings,
how she’ll try to go on,
turning worst to best.
Tested. Ready.
Looking ahead for the win.

Michele F. Cooper is the first-place winner in Poetry Canada's Rhymed Poetry Competition and the TallGrass Poetry Competition, second-place winner in the Galway Kinnell Poetry Competition, author of two books and numerous published poems, founding editor of the Newport Review and Crone's Nest literary magazines, and of a chapbook series, Premier Poets. She recently won honorable mentions in the Emily Dickinson and New Millennium Poetry Competitions. Her book Posting the Watch has just been published by Turning Point, the narrative poetry imprint at WordTech. She is listed in Who's Who in America, Contemporary Authors, and the Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, among others. She recently moved from the edge of a small horse farm (not hers) to Providence, RI, and now to the Cleveland area, where she writes and works as a book editor.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


by Anne G. Davies

We thought he was finished, but lo and behold
Wolfowitz again has come in from the cold.
His strategic thinking was so abysmal
His diplomatic finesse so dismal
That twice he had to be disconnected
Yet once more he's been resurrected.

Secretary Condi concedes his mistakes:
People have died, but those are the breaks.
George Bush practices Christian forgiving...
Neocons, too, must make a living.

His unique talents can't be ignored;
We'll make him head of an Advisory Board.
Wolf will be State's in-house diviner!
No one's experience is any finer
For giving us considered advices
On how to assess an incipient crisis.

To conservatives this offers solace:
There may be redemption for Gonzales.

Anne G. Davies is a fund-raising writer by profession and a writer and versifier by avocation. Her work has been published in local and regional papers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of his death,
January 29, 1963

by Earl J. Wilcox

In the forty-five years since you gave us up,
Your lover’s quarrel with the world still resonates.

What a quarrel you had, living through all those wars,
---Count ‘em. Must have been at least a half dozen

In your time---yet you used your trial by existence to
Show faith in mankind, not be all politics. Oh, we

Recall your happy trip to Russia, your predicting JFK
Would win, then writing a poem for his inaugural,

Even if you didn’t read that one the day he was sworn in.
And yet we can say the political poems did not overtake you,

You with all those Pulitzers, but not the big prize.
I know you understood that in choosing the road less

Traveled you probably gave up the big prize. Did you
Know that almost every poet, indeed every writer since

Your death, has tapped into the grapes of wrath we all
Share about wars and famine and greed and big government

To write about it in order to dynamite the judges for the big prize.
You might smile to hear that Derek, Joseph, and Seamus

Did not shy away from the politics of their day, their own
Wars, which by and large were more violent and fanatic

Than yours, yet they were just wars and famine and
Political points of view. And they, yes, they did get the big prize.

Good for them. By the way, they wrote a little book* paying
Homage to you as a major influence on their poems.

Under the oaks and birches at the church in Old Bennington,
During this particular political season, your quarrel with

The world remains in play. Some of us read your poems
Every day, talk about them, teach them to others.

We miss your wit and wisdom, but especially your poems.
In another forty-five years we’ll miss you even more.

*Joseph Brodsky, Derek Walcott, Seamus Heaney, Homage to Robert Frost (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996).

Earl J. Wilcox founded The Robert Frost Review, which he edited for more than a decade. His poetry was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Monday, January 28, 2008


by H.L.

With thanks for the quotations to AP writer Eileen Sullivan
in her Wired article
“Disabled Spy Satellite Threatens Earth”

Please don’t let me down now my fearless leader
Don’t make ’08 something to remember
Spy in the sky or die,
Super bowl, state of the economy,
Call out the Marines.
How about Chicken Little just when we need a fable maker?

“The spacecraft contains hydrazine -
which is rocket fuel - according to a government official
who was not authorized to speak publicly
but spoke on condition of anonymity.”

In the spirit of a presidential secrecy
You could write a book on this Thatcher iron knee conspiracy
Proving that Reagan’s vision of space junk invasions
Was not the kind of thing left to science . . .

“The officials spoke on condition of anonymity
because the information is classified as secret.”

It was something you could only learn from B grade movies
Where side trips to Disneyland from Loma Linda
Get so tricky NPR had to invent a cover story
That only sounded like it was the truth
But that’s okay the danger may not be as evil
As it could be if we knew what we thought
It was before we figured out what it was we meant
As we have learned, intelligence isn’t as important as it sounds
When the decider can’t tell you what he means—

“ ‘The satellite, which no longer can be controlled,
could contain hazardous materials, and
it is unknown where on the planet it might come down,’
they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity...”

H.L. is a computer-nerd bicyclist who cranks out poetry as he rides along prairie grass and gravel roads. He says, "War is not the Answer / Ride a Bicycle," and more at cornfedtrouble.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


by George Held

Pet girl kicked off bus for wearing leash. —Reuters, 23 Jan. 2008

Come live with me, and be my pet.
Think of all the stroking you’ll get.

Wear a collar, like a collie;
Be my lap dog and my dolly.

Show the gang that you’re contented
To be my pet, you’ve consented.

Come live with me, and be my pet:
Jewels and spankings you will get.

On your leash you will learn to heel,
When to turn and whether to wheel,

How to roll over and how to fetch,
When to trot on all fours, my bitch.

I’ll chuck your chin and pat your head;
I’ll even teach you to play dead.

Come live with me, and play the pet;
It’s the best offer you will get.

George Held has previously contributed to The New Verse News. His latest poetry collection is The Art of Writing and Others (, 2007).

Saturday, January 26, 2008


by Linda Lerner

Green, how much I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches! --"Somnambule Ballad" by Garcia Lorca

a politician’s generosity greens a foot wide path
curbing downtown Brooklyn streets to the bridge
it is chartreuse the wrong shade too bright
hurts my eyes to look at for long
like the sun it can momentarily blind

all august a billionaire is toying with our minds
planting green illusions beneath our feet
painting potholes mortgaged lives are stumbling into
he assures us despite cracks & peeling rust
the bridge is safe to cross

...from a Manhattan townhouse
palmed by a giant leaf in Bermuda
an ocean front mansion in Europe
reports thru man hole explosions
toxic gases leaked from a building
bureaucracy shielded from demolition
killed two firemen how well the city is doing
it was their job he doesn’t say
to die for nothing

and takes a 7 am train a few mornings
to prove how hard he is working
to green our lives

can you feel the earth thru the paint
the green wind ruffle your hair
green as in your vanished youth
is it like that

long before this politician bought the city
I have seen Lorca’s ghost lady of Spain
in Brooklyn dressed all in green promise
walking to the subway her green smile flickering
felt her aura and sniffed
the same odor of rot and bitterness
as on those green paths

like watercolor will be washed clean
come the first hard rains

Linda Lerner is the author of twelve poetry collections, the most recent being Living in Dangerous Times (Pressa Press) and City Woman (March Street Press). Recent poems appear in Tribes, Onthebus, The Paterson Literary Review, The New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, and Van Gogh’s Ear. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 1995 Andrew Gettler and she began Poets on the Line, the first poetry anthology on the Net for which she received two grants for the Nam Vet Poets issue. Its anthology remains on line although new publication ceased in 2000.

Friday, January 25, 2008


by David Chorlton

I          Today
Wet and windless as the shade
of the sky darkens from the Mohave
to the city. Possibility of a smile
breaking through
five per cent.

II          Overnight
High chance of weeping after midnight
when sleeplessness rides
the south wind and enters by a door
forced open.
Outdoor lows of forty to forty five.
The shiver in the spine
hits freezing point.

III          Tomorrow
Mostly peaceful domestically. Storms
may occur in countries under occupation
where temperatures will be close
to normal: fever.

IV          Weekend
Sudden shift from prosperity
to nervousness, followed by
a period of introspection beneath low
cloud. A period of calm
will last until the dawn of business
when showers of gold
are expected to fall
on upper class neighbourhoods.

V          Outlook
Election campaigning at low elevations
to continue indefinitely, broken by short
bursts of optimism, and long term
prospects of war with appropriately
located windfall profits.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix, writes and paints and keeps track of local wildlife. His newest book, The Porous Desert, was published this summer by FutureCycle Press, and testifies to his having internalised the desert during the past twenty-nine years. Some of his art work can be seen at

Thursday, January 24, 2008


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

black, red, green
Numbers tumble
Wall Street stumbles
Chins are set for whatever comes next
Little girls in big girl pants
Little boys in old men's suits
So much in-breeding it gets harder and harder
Doesn't it?
To tell bear from bull
Unlike most animals
This pair has almost identical shit
The radio crackles all day with reports from the block
Billion dollar payouts
And the little guy with his hand on his cock
The devil takes a break and powders his nose
The radio asks if there is any end in sight
and if there is, is there any light?
God guarantees this will all come out all right
God tells the devil he looks fine, just a little more powder to dull the shine
He got his
I got mine
The radio takes a break for cello and flute
Wall Street follows suit

Steve Hellyard Swartz's poetry has appeared in The New Verse News, Best Poem, Haggard and Halloo, switched-on guttenberg, and The Kennesaw Review. He has won Honorable Mention in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards and The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. In 2008, poems of his will appear in The Paterson Review and The Southern Indiana Review.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


by Scot Siegel

"Some things in the world have not already happened." --William Stafford

There is an odd country beyond Democracy
where few live but many look in and
ask about visas; that country
has no borders--

Their flag, the color of wind, never flies at
half-mast; their national anthem, called
conversation, changes daily
depending on the weather--

This unknown country has no army;
its citizens, even the littlest children,
are allowed to vote; and their votes
count twice--

Did I mention, in this country,
they celebrate Independence Day
every twenty-four hours,
even in the dead of winter!

Scot Siegel is an urban planner and poet from Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he volunteers with the Friends of William Stafford. His poems have previously appeared on The New Verse News, The Sunday Oregonian, Open Spaces Magazine, and Red River Review, among others.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


by Rochelle Ratner

An Iranian runs the borders, circling the U. S., and immigration authorities wave him past. Been there. Done that. He starts in New York on Father’s Day, runs south along the east coast, then the borders of Florida and Texas, up through California, along the Canadian border, then back down. 90 kilometers a day. His father, were he still alive, would be proud of him. 201 days. Sometimes he lets a foot fall across the border and give three little taps. Sometimes he zig-zags.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


by Adrian Manning

a city plunged into blackness
power plants shut down
and the borders closed
fuel supplies blocked.
thousands now in a
night that has no end

lines forming at bakeries
people stockpiling food.
running out of goods
running out of time.

air strikes
killing and wounding
survivors holding flickering
candles in silent protest
tiny beacons of light
calling out
across a sea of darkness
to a distant shore

Adrian Manning is the author of five chapbooks of poems, the most recent being Repeating The Mantra published by Bottle of Smoke Press. He is also the editor of Concrete Meat Press.


by Allen Taylor

Drawn out deep,
like the upward concerns
of an intern. Captains delight
in late night fatties, blue skies
dressed in vanilla, and star-
crossed lips ladled with love stains.
Free soil built this land. Death

may dance in the sun
but I'm taxed. Hand me a bill
of sale, this whore has the whole
damned country by the balls.
The king may know his legacy,
but where are his clothes, mind you?

The Right Wing spins
a new face while the Party
reminisces and the world
is made safe. For

is a costly business,
liberty a puff of smoke
in a courtroom.

Battlefield worms like us
seek security in slow-poppin' cherries
and close calls,

rockets red glaring past our bedtimes.
I'm fed the hell up with Hillians casting lots,
forgetting to shed light
on this year's stale,
two-party topic.

Allen Taylor is an Iraq War veteran. Upon returning home he promptly resigned his commission and moved to Cyberspace. He is the webmaster at and writes the daily

Saturday, January 19, 2008


by Earl J. Wilcox

Here in the great state of South Carolina---first to secede
from the union prior to that late unfortunate incident---
we again find ourselves inundated by Philistines.
Our little southern entity is overrun with candidates.
Night and day we are being besieged with door knockers,
phone calls, poll takers, party regulars and irregulars---
every ilk, color, and breed of candidates the world can imagine.

Just today I stopped at a light in our little burg and was
overwhelmed by three or four leeches before I could move on.
Our land is flooded with Oprahites, Paulites, Hillaryites,
and Edwardians, a few Obamaians, to say nothing of
Thompson the Terrible, and Huck’s Hallelujahs. The Mitt
and Cain camps are fully engaged in a life and death struggle.

We have stopped praying for rain to end our drought and are now
in a full twenty-four seven mode for the election to come quickly. Amen.

Earl J. Wilcox founded The Robert Frost Review, which he edited for more than a decade. His poetry was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Friday, January 18, 2008


by Robert M. Chute

The voters of Michigan
careful not to slip
on the ice
step over the latest
bodies from Baghdad
to tell us
as we told you before.

Let the leaders
have their war.
It's only a little war.

Robert M. Chute has a book from JustWrite Books, Reading Nature, of poetry based on scientific articles, that is available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


by George Spencer

Shadows are swiftly falling
on the bushes.

George Spencer lives in Ecuador half the year where he started its first poetry slam. Recently, he had poems in CLWN WR, Stained Sheets, Rain Tiger, 63 Channels and Poetry MidWest. PWP is publishing his chapbook Obscene Richness of Our Times in '09.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


by Daniel Wilcox

Be forewarned
Of Laskshmi, the goddess
From eastern Bihar;
Not the malformed babe,
She in the incubator
Accidented into life
With eight limbs,
Four armed at birth;*
Now revered by modern
Indians who adore
Her as an incarnation
Of their blessed Hindu
Goddess of that view.

Be delivered
To thinking humans
For modern science,
Of birthed compassion,
30 of them, who doctored
For 24 round the Seven
Removed the extra arms,
Transplanted a vital organ
And reconstructed her bones—

Be thankful
To the Ultimate Reason
From behind the stars;
After surgery,
She was able to stand
In her enlightened manger
Free of 'idol' thoughts;

Be clear and wise;
You misguided worshipers
Of the past's superstition,
Praise the scientific miracle
Of rational healing,
Thank Goodness!

*CNN news of an Indian baby born with four arms and four legs.

Daniel Wilcox earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach. He is a former activist and former wanderer of plenty of where. His poetry has appeared various journals including The Centrifugal Eye, Lucid Rhythms, The November 3rd Club, and The Recusant. A short story based on his time in the Middle East was published in the September 2007 issue of The Danforth Review . Currently, he is working on a novel and a poetry collection, and living on the California coast with his mysterious wife and youngest son.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008



by Linda Lerner

on a voice flat lining days
across stock options   numbers
reaching toward infinity
I’m riding thru a business man’s America
the flattest country I’ve ever seen--
modern technology has created
what the prairie must have once
looked like to westerners a century or two ago
cleared of horses   sagebrush
not even a saloon or knockdown fight
not one human visible

Linda Lerner is the author of twelve poetry collections, the most recent being Living in Dangerous Times (Pressa Press) and City Woman (March Street Press). Recent poems appear in Tribes, Onthebus, The Paterson Literary Review, The New York Quarterly, Home Planet News, and Van Gogh’s Ear. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 1995 Andrew Gettler and she began Poets on the Line, the first poetry anthology on the Net for which she received two grants for the Nam Vet Poets issue. Its anthology remains on line although new publication ceased in 2000.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


PoeArtry by Charles Frederickson and Saknarin Chinayote

Rivers no longer flow into
     Oceanic caldera boiling reduced to
          Simmer steam open sea evaporation
               Lid pried off plug yank

Seeping moisture slowly dried up
     Still life seascapes drained mercilessly
          Wave swells lay dying on
               Distant shores naked refuse exposed

No longer fit for habitation
     Swimming scuba diving breathless drowning
          Moving with vanishing ebb drift
               Windswept continents kept off balance

Detritus rained down upon decomposed
     Sunken graveyards spent cockleshells clutter
          Bittersweet rusty oasis eaten away
               Embedded clay fossils left behind

No creature as deadly as
     Spitfire raging sun’s relentless scorch
          Medieval alchemy cockeyed maritime portent
               Unfathomable geological omen empty forevermore

This Thaidings of Joy PoeArtry visualization was rendered in black & white by Dr. Charles Frederickson, with computer-generated coloration by Saknarin Chinayote. Their website features more than 500 original images and impressions, sketched and scribbled during travels to 206 countries on our fave planet.

Monday, January 14, 2008


by Sharon Brogan

Don't those pollsters know
that married women
lie in the presence
of their husbands?

They lie mostly about
money and politics.
And sex. That, too.
They sneak shopping bags
in the back door.

If their husbands notice
something new,
they say, "What?
This ole thing?"
And when they pull

that poll booth curtain
closed, who's to know?
And white women, well,
they'll vote for a woman
or a black man

without flinching. And smile
while they do it. Just like
they smile when asked
"Was it good for you, too,
honey?" "Why, yes,"

they say. "Yes."

Sharon Brogan has been blogging at Watermark for four years. Her poetry is also available at Oratory, and small poems.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


by Marge Merrill

I think
I might
on the simple word--

This declaration fits nicely
into sound bytes on the evening news,
the mantra true believers plaster on car bumpers
or raise like a contrary battle flag

and yet--
the sound is as hollow
as the promises
held out
by the same tired hands.

Marge Merrill has produced a spoken word CD, eclectic, available through

Friday, January 11, 2008


by Sandy Hiss

Eleventh Postcard from Iraq

The temperature here
is feverish
but I am not ill.
My t-shirt sticks to
my culturally shocked skin.
Asking "Why did you come here?"
I don't have the answers.
Too busy fanning myself
with my own questions
while beads of sweat
attempt to create a necklace
around my aching neck.
They could be pearls
but the sun over Iraq
won't convince me this soon.
We have six months
to become acquainted.

Twelfth Postcard from Iraq

The loud speaker declares
"Attention in the embassy complex.
Do not be alarmed. The loud
explosion was in the Red Zone."

I turn up the volume on the radio.
Thankful it is quiet here
in the Green Zone. My ears
deaf to the screams
of widows and children
living just a mile away.
Their voices a memory
like those of the now deceased.

Fifteenth Postcard from Iraq

I was a guest
at the opening of Al-Salam
(Peace) soccer field.
The fertile grass exhaled
beneath the weight
of thick grey clouds. Helos
punctured their bellies to let
animosity roam. The green
and white striped shirts
battled the orange shirts
while little Iraqi boys fought
over shiny new soccer balls.
There were no Iraqi girls
to be found. Did they not
get the memo?

Sandy Hiss' poetry has been published in over 60 print and electronic journals. Her first book of poetry, Ever Violet, was released in April 2007 by D-N Publishing. She is also the editor of Flutter, an online poetry journal.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


by Anne G. Davies

Who’d have thought Huckabee and Obama
Would be generating so much drama?
Evangelical Arkansas hick
Matches Harvard lawyer, smart and slick.
The rest of the roster’s losing face.
(A blessing in Mitt and Rudy’s case.)
But what of Hillary Clinton, née Rodham?
She lost Iowans when she thought she’d got ‘em,
Giving Barack impressive momentum
Yet in New Hampshire she did prevent ‘im
From being considered all but anointed,
Leaving pollsters stunned and disjointed.
And John McCain whom we’d been neglecting
Seems to be steadily resurrecting
Himself from yawning oblivion.
What confusion we’ve all been living in.
He snatched first place from the jaws of defeat
Toppling Mitt and Mike: such winning is sweet.
Now they’re all off to pastures greener
No doubt the rhetoric will only get meaner
This primary system grows exhaustin’
Racing from West Coast to north of Boston.
I often wish that we could resume
The politics of the smoke-filled room
When fat cats with cigars decided fates
And chose the leaders of the United States.

Anne G. Davies is a fund-raising writer by profession and a writer and versifier by avocation. Her work has been published in local and regional papers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


by A. D. Winans

I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by success and greed
Smug fashionable poets turned businessmen
Who rode the National Endowment For the Arts
Pimp train, ignoring Captain Cool and his magic airplane
I saw the best minds of my generation loitering
At closed down amusement parks
Disguised as hobo tramps standing in long lines
In hope of becoming a Southern Pacific Railway detective
Self-proclaimed geniuses tossing restlessly in their sleep
Like a pair of naked dice on a worn Las Vegas craps table
Their ragged claws scraping at death’s window ledge
I saw the best minds of my generation
Lying lifeless in glass coffins
Hands folded in gratification
Their vacant eyes blinking like a pinball machine
I saw the best minds of my generation
Hanging out at Broadway topless bars
Searching for paradise, fat and content
Smoking Tijuana slims

Stone-faced magicians on their way to the graveyard
Three steps behind the screaming monkey grinder
With the one-eyed monkey masturbating on his back
I saw the best minds of my generation
Looking like James Bond understudies
Cruising the casinos of Reno and Las Vegas
In between being chauffeured through the
Neon lit streets of Atlantic City
Looking for the Now, Wow vision of their
Personal Zen masters
Pretty-faced aging celebrities
Hungry for the admiration connection
Who carried the star fuck media message
Inside their chemically induced minds
Who wealthy and overcome with ego
Wandered the streets butter-cheeked
And Crisco greased in search of their
15 minutes of fame
I saw the best minds of my generation
Walking down Hollywood and Vine
Tossing and turning in exclusive spas

Ignoring the long lines of hungry eyes
Waiting to devour them
Who floated across congested Los Angeles freeways
Looking for the right off-ramp
Stopping to partake the pleasure of heated
Swimming pools and Roman orgy bath houses
All the time contemplating their navels
And recording contracts
I saw the best minds of my generation
Bare their not so tight assholes
To aging agents wrapped in silk sheets
Autographed by the King of the Beats
I saw the best minds of my generation
Gangbanging ageless groupies
From San Francisco to New York and back
While accumulating frequent flyer miles
Sad-eyed space cadets from the Gregory
Corso School of bad boys
I saw the best minds of my generation
Expelled from luxury hotels for writing
Bad graffiti in the men’s room
Who necked in the back alley of Gino
And Carlo’s bar while hawking their
Poetry in between ATM withdrawals
I saw the best minds of my generation cowering
In New York subways on their way to literary parties
Lusting after host and hostess alike
I saw the best minds of my generation
Standing naked in fear
Burning out there counterfeit talent
At Sardi’s and Elaine’s
As the final hours came closing in on them
I saw the best minds of my generation
Listen in terror as the 4-walls came crashing
Down on them
Lady obscurity coming to claim them
Like a faceless hat check girl
Let loose in the morgues of America

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet, writer and photographer. He is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose. In 2006 a song poem of his was performed at Alice Tully Hall in NYC. In 2007 he won a PEN Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. Presa Press recently published a book of his Selected Poems, The Other Side Of Broadway.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


by Martha Deed

In the belly of the whale
there are no flashlights
and on a starry night
no appendectomies
your have-a-happy-day surmise
is worth less than a slippery slope
of cream cheese and grape jelly on rye
which is why I love to go fishing in January
casting bread upon frozen waters
and waiting for whales on Seneca Lake
on Primary Day

Martha Deed's chapbook, 65 x 65, was recently published by Peter Ganick's small chapbook project (December 2006). Her poems have recently appeared in Shampoo, unlikelystories, 3by3by3, 21 Stars, and Iowa Review Web (with Millie Niss). Her website is

Monday, January 07, 2008


by Rochelle Ratner

Twenty-five minutes, they told her as they dimmed the lights. Relax, they told her. One technician said he knows how painful bone cancer is, his sister died from it. But try to relax. Maybe it hasn't spread. Don't move, they told her, weighing her down with a heavy blanket, strapping her arms in, locking the machine. Or maybe just closing it. She loses track of time in the dark. There doesn't seem to be anyone out there. Twenty-five minutes, they said. Bone cancer. Pain. Metastatic. And those were the last words she remembers hearing. It seems like hours ago now. She's starting to fear the dark. Nobody told her she could go home. Ever.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


by Matt Turner

Soap-operatic sighs rise from botox lips of enslaving
mechanical creations of the monetarily hued maw of mass
production and solitary escapement.

She sits on her caffe modesto leather lined love seat without
anybody to love.

"If you could have a day at the beach, what would it be?"

Softened saxophonal tunes sweetly hatch to her sorrowed tears,
washing the midnight plum eyeliner from her hazel green eyes (a
horrible match).

She remembers,
"Still half a pizza in the fridge."

"Would I care about me if I
were somebody else?"

The generic before and after pictures are always viewed with a
strange sense of disgust and envy. Steve Perry continues the flow.

"Would I care...


Expansion forbade in light of her confining lunar gaze,
mass produced and intent on illusionary and solitary expansion
in the comfortable confines of the shallow self.

"Can gourmet and store-bought
be one in the same?"

She resolves the answer must be no, but begrudges not
the gourmet bag of store-bought coffee on top of the microwave.

Matt Turner is a high school student in Washington State. "The Lonely" is his first published work, but more of his poetry is available at his blog The Eccentric Mind Poetry.

Friday, January 04, 2008


by Dale Goodson

the kitchen was quiet
at peace

then a plate lost its place
fell against a bowl in the dish rack
the sudden bang
was deafening
frightened me
I broke out in a cold sweat

can’t do nuthin’ about it
but still-

I took a deep breath
righted the plate
leaned on the counter


one hundred million spent in Iowa
one hundred million
by men and women running for office

made me want to jump off a tower

stop, I thought
but they can’t

in Iowa
or anywhere else

the plate fell again
had to
it’s a universal law

more harsh racket

but at five dollars per
a feeble challenge

Dale Goodson is a writer from Seattle currently living in New York City and working as a homeless outreach worker in Times Square. He recently created his own website:

Thursday, January 03, 2008


by Jon Wesick

We didn’t find it in Baltimore or Huntsville
not in Tucson, Seattle, Philly, or Washington DC.
Kangaroo courts, rigged elections, cops beating
suspects in back rooms, the poor barred from hospitals,
families with both parents working going under.
That ain’t America!

So with the help of a 58’ trawler yacht, the Able Marie,
six of us went looking. We boarded in Valparaiso Chile,
sailed through Panama up to Halifax and shadowed
container ships across the North Atlantic.
Where did America go? Antwerp? Rotterdam? Hamburg?
Different players – same crooked game.

Marseilles, Piraeus, Jeddah, Dubai, Mumbai,
Singapore, Hong Kong, Kobe – not there either.
Still seeking our lost country we steer
toward the Southern Cross. For now America exists
only on this teak deck, washed with spray
and tossed by 40’ waves.

Jon Wesick has a Ph.D. in physics, has practiced Buddhism for over twenty years, and has published over a hundred poems in small press journals such as American Tanka, Anthology Magazine, The Blind Man’s Rainbow, Edgz, The Kaleidoscope Review, Limestone Circle, The Magee Park Anthology, The Publication, Pudding, Sacred Journey, San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Slipstream, Tidepools, Vortex of the Macabre, Zillah, and others. His chapbooks have won honorable mentions twice in the San Diego Book Awards.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


by Thomas D. Reynolds

May the wind always rustle
The orange leaf of your heart.

May the skies never darken
The early morning of your smile.

No one can read your heart
And may the language be always beautiful,

Maddeningly melodic on the tongue
yet mysterious and exotically foreign.

May you walk gracefully
In the shadows of a diminishing sun.

May your soul be light
Yet as firm as the stars

When even the slightest breath
Might send you drifting.

Thomas D. Reynolds received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University, currently teaches at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, Flint Hills Review, The MacGuffin, The Cape Rock, The Pedestal Magazine, Eclectica, Strange Horizons, Combat, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, and Ash Canyon Review.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


by H.L.

Like Proverbs for Dummies
the lame words limp across the stage
On a bad night in a bluesy dive on the edge of nowhere
the undistinguished crowd strains to understand
but the smoke and the tears
wipe away the meaning

New Year's aught eight
Homeless pupils looking for eyes with color
squint to shield the soul from reality
Unable to hide bloodshot maps to the future
desperation howls from the tenor sax
It is still midnight somewhere

On an international date line
boomers who cannot escape yesterday
advise us of their pain and prescribe bad policy filled with hate
Even the seers pull down the shades and wait
The inevitable appears like a dream
posing as victory over death

Not yet morning there is still hope
Comfort hiding in the fog
Somewhere behind the gray cloud of whatever undisclosed sunshine
regenerates the beat of life
Children who have not watched the news
breathe deeply to propel the perpetual wind of change