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Thursday, July 31, 2008


by Claudia Serea

What goes on behind the closed doors
when dinner is served at seven
to the most powerful men in the world?

New borders might be traced on a napkin,
plans of alliances or invasions,
the sauce spattered ends wars
and peace treaties are drawn
with wine stains.

Let’s have dessert, says the prime minister,
as the two presidents grin.

Oh, humble napkin forgotten on the floor
and picked up by the cleaning lady—
if you could talk!

Her wrinkled hands unfold you,
hold you up to the light,
trying to decipher in your creases
the historic chicken scratch
that will make her native country burn.

Claudia Serea was born in Romania and moved to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations are published in literary journals such as Oberon, The Comstock Review, Harpur Palate, Respiro,, Exquisite Corpse, and in various Romanian publications. Her first chapbook, Eternity’s Orthography, was chosen as a contest finalist and was published in September 2007 by Finishing Line Press.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


by David Chorlton

Follow the road that never
was paved. It runs between the seasons
where your footprints burn away
behind you. Once you have chosen it
you must continue to its end.
Here is a compass
that points at the stars,
a flask filled with darkness
to pour across your hands when the sun
is most intense, and a coin
for tossing when the time comes to decide
whether the left fork or the right
is the one you have to choose.
Many came this way before you
and their own thirst
swallowed them whole.
Others chose the short cut
which turns into a circle. You can still
see dust devils toss
their shadows into the air.
Walk at night
and dream by day.
Never stop to share memories with your fellow
travelers who will slow you down.
Dress in the colours of dusk.
Follow the scent of nectar
when flowers bloom in sympathy
with you, but be careful
of the thorns that shine by day
in their auras of heat.
I can sell you no more than your portion
of luck, and promise
nothing more than that someone is waiting
to arrest you. Look them
in the eye and ask for their papers.
Ask them what it means to be legal. You have paid
to be where you are. Your freedom
is worth more than theirs.

David Chorlton's interests include birds, sport (specifically European football) as a means to understand society, very old music, and the passage of people between cultures. Origami Condom published his online chapbook Dry Heat and another new group of poems is available as Border Sky at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


by Scot Siegel

For several days thinking they had found
a dead man’s boot beside the highway
the brothers scared each other with stories
of how it came to rest there: A hitchhiker

Struck by a runaway van. The homeless man
struggling up the embankment after drinking
from the river. Maybe a criminal on the run
caught in the patrol car spotlight ditched his

Prison clothes there… Then they thought…
Maybe it was older and fell from a
covered wagon, an Indian ambush…
The boot was heavy like that…

They dared one another to pick the mud away
undo the laces, see what’s inside – Bones,
they hoped, or maybe some rotting flesh…
Because of the boot’s apparent age and heft

Their father said they must turn it over
to the authorities, which they did, of course,
with much reluctance…

When the forensics came back, to everyone’s
surprise, that boot was a woolly mammoth’s tooth
ten million years old! – or at least that’s what
the staid man from the university said…

Now that boot, or tooth, is kept safe out of view
in a basement room at the Department of Paleontology –
To get inside, security clearance is required…
When the local news lady asked about their luck

and what they thought of the ongoing study, the boys
turned to each other as only boys can do and shrugged;
but then the younger one gushed, said he didn’t mind
all the attention, really, getting to miss school and all…

What he looked forward to most he said was an appearance
on David Letterman & getting to meet that silver-sequined
     girl with the steel hoola hoops,

and the other one with the grinder!

Scot Siegel is an urban planner and poet from Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he serves on the Lake Oswego City Planning Commission and the Board of Trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. His first full-length poetry collection Some Weather is forthcoming from Plain View Press in 2009.

Monday, July 28, 2008


by Steve Hellyard Swartz

Tears flow a finger is cut a
burn on her cheeks, in halfmoons, below each eye
In my car my daughter, my mother-in-law, and I
Lookie there, will you?
Two black birds going at it, hammer and tong, in the blue mid-air
Lookie there -
The speeding green of everything I’ve ever seen
The Writer’s Almanac on a Friday, the Fourth of July
The thermos of cold coffee
A yellow and deep bruised nectarine
A piece of cheese sweating the last of its hole-y cheer
Are we there? Are we there?
A few slices of rye
My daughter and I singing along to the Rolling Stones on CD
Just inside the New York border, a dog on a red, white, and blue leash
My mother-in-law saying, in Russian,
One summer I walked and walked in the mountains of Kafkhazia
The pea soup fog as we rise higher into the Berkshires
Are we there? Are we there?
The almost silent shuffling of cards in the backseat
My daughter asking something in Russian
My mother-in-law answering quietly
The dog on a leash, a memory
The birds, going for the eye
The cuts, the burns, the tears
Not knowing, was the dog brought inside?
Not knowing, which bird won?
Not knowing, for ten minutes,
In the pea soup fog above Williamstown
What will it be like, when we get out of this – when we get down
Which we will, we will of course we will
I would not take my daughter to a parade on the Fourth of July and have something happen
I wouldn’t
I couldn’t, not with the humbly wrapped rye, the pinched gaiety of no one’s nectarine, the comment about a hike one summer in a faraway land, the Dunkin’ Donut I hold in my hand
Not out of the fog
I ask my daughter what she asked my mother-in-law, in a voice barely above a whisper, in her little girl Russian
At first my daughter answers -
Then, she adds -

Steve Hellyard Swartz's poetry has appeared in New Verse News, Best Poem, The Kennesaw Review, and switched-on gutenberg. An Honorable Mention in the 2007 and 2008 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, Swartz's poetry will soon appear in The Paterson Review and The Southern Indiana Review. In 1990, his film Never Leave Nevada opened in Dramatic Competition at the U.S. Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


by Kathryn Jacobs

The Phoenix Martian Lander thinks he’s “awesome.”*
The Phoenix Martian Lander’s also bored.
And given all that red-brown Martian nothing,
It’s hard to blame the Phoenix Martian, much.

Our new-made Martian therefore stops to Twitter;
Which keeps our newbie Earthlings up to date.
And in between his tweetings on the Twitter,
we all get close-ups of his Martian feet.

The P.M.L’s a little self-admiring,
what with his metal digits and his scoop.
but he’s allowed to twitter while he’s working --
and anyway, we think he’s kinda cute.

Kathryn Jacobs is a poet and medievalist from Harvard with a book of poetry, Advice Column, appearing at Finishing Line Press in November and an e-chapbook, The Boy Who Loved Pigeons, sponsored by Poetry Midwest, appearing in the next few weeks. Her poetry has appeared recently in New Formalist, Measure, Washington Literary Review, Acumen (UK), Pulse, Slant, Candelabrum (UK), DeCanto, Quantum Leap (UK), Mezzo Cammin, Deronda Review, The Same, Contemporary Rhyme, Ship of Fools, Eclectic Muse, Barefoot Muse, Mobius, Chimaera, Toasted Cheese, 14 by 14, Wordgathering, The Interpreter’s House (UK), and Road Not Taken. She has also published a scholarly book on literary marriage contracts in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (University Press of Florida) and sixteen articles. Jacobs has two daughters; her son Ray died at the age of 18 in 2005.

Friday, July 25, 2008


by Dale Goodson

it’s fantastic

once again people we’ve elected
have allowed havoc and ruin

have stood before us
and announced
the wisdom and glory of the free market
lined their pockets
and walked away

and once again
we stand in the streets
kicked and kicked out

possessing large sums of money
makes one adult-like
and somehow
possessing very little
makes one child-like

and the adults continue to tell the children
about the path to wealth and riches
and the children continue to dream
and no matter how often this path
crumbles beneath their feet
and sends them tumbling into the abyss
the children will not let go of the dream

yes, it’s fantastic

all of it
not to be believed

forget Batman
this is the summer blockbuster

Dale Goodson is a writer from Seattle currently living in New York City.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


by Lylanne Musselman

lame duck President
stumbles over words –

Lylanne Musselman resides in Indianapolis , Indiana . She teaches creative writing classes at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis and at the University of Indianapolis' School of Adult Learning . Her story feature L WordS is aired live monthly on BloomingOUT, a weekly broadcast on WFHB radio. An award winning poet, Lylanne's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Flying Island, New Voice News, Etchings, Tipton Poetry Journal, Poetry Motel, among others.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


by Barbara A. Taylor

Being a champion takes character. It also entails responsibility. In Beijing you will convey our nation's most cherished values. As ambassadors of liberty, you will represent America's love for freedom and our regard for human rights and human dignity. You'll represent to other athletes and to the people of China. In Beijing, you'll also represent our nation's character. As ambassadors of goodwill, you will be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. And by showing respect for your competitors, you will demonstrate America's respect for the world.
--George W. Bush, July 21, 2008

olympic athletes
liberty ambassadors

Barbara A. Taylor’s haiku and short form poems have appeared on Sketchbook, Shamrock, Stylus, Lynx, Simply Haiku, Three Lights Gallery, Tiny Words, Kokako, Eucalypt, Moonset, Contemporary Haibun, Modern English Tanka, and others, including recent anthologies, Landfall and Atlas Poetica. Her diverse poems with audio are at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


by Fred Schraff

The New Yorker magazine
lampooned on its cover
an Obama Oval Office
in which the worst fears
of the far-right were depicted.

Their satiric intent misfired a bit
wounding the wrong party
and in doing so
gave focus to a mental picture
previously confined in like-minds.

The magazine explaining
what they tried to do
claims the insults unintentional
(yeah, right!)
and misinterpreted.

Such an explanation resembles
an alibi by manufacturers
of the yard game “cornhole”
that no prior thought was given
to the word’s original meaning.

Fred Schraff lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was born. He holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering. He currently works as a design engineer in an electronic company and writes poetry for relaxation.

Monday, July 21, 2008


by Howie Good

Listen for directions from authorized personnel,
which hopeless thoughts to avoid,

how long to wait for the destroying angels to tire
and the broken buildings to stop burning.

Remain inside the train if possible,
but if not, open the side door and go out,

and love witches’ gloves, dead men’s bells, bloody
love reflective surfaces shaking with truculent colors,

love this country, my country,
dark green and torn where the light once touched it.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of five poetry chapbooks, Death of the Frog Prince (2004), Heartland (2007), and Apocalypse Mambo (forthcoming) from FootHills Publishing, Strangers & Angels (2007) from Scintillating Publications, and the e-book, Police & Questions (forthcoming) from Right Hand Pointing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


by Stacia M Fleegal

We are three hundred and thirty-six years old,
I want to say, but only the wake of your story
would hear because the girl is long gone who
said the thing that, as you relay it now,
tires me with ache—I literally want
to lie down and wake up draped in rainbows
and see the girl and hear her say Color,
can you see me? But instead, she said

I can't vote for him because he is black.
She actually used the word can't. I can't
fathom hate while sitting next to you, love,
or her nonchalance as she walked away.
Earlier, you said he's like Kennedy.
Neither is a good thing. Neither means we're free.

Stacia M Fleegal's first collection of poems, Anatomy of a Shape-Shifter, is forthcoming in 2010 by WordTech. She is a graduate of Spalding University's brief-residency MFA in Writing program. Finishing Line Press recently released a chapbook of her poems, A Fling with the Ground. Individual poems have appeared in many journals, most recently Comstock Review, Minnetonka Review, 42opus, White Pelican Review, and Elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Inkwell, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Here and There, and Women. Period.: Women Writing About Menstruation (Spinsters Ink Press, 2008). In 2006, her poetry won first place in the graduate division of the Kentuckiana Metroversity Writing Competition and placed as a special merit finalist in Comstock Review's Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award in Poetry contest. She is co-founder and managing editor of the online literary journal Blood Lotus, a poetry editor for New Sins Press, and the coordinator of the journals department at the University of Nebraska Press.

Friday, July 18, 2008


by Becky Harblin

The promises laid out by sun, curl up to hatch in summer dreams
each bordered by chicory blooms, sweet clover and birdsongs.

Cows let out to graze in a new field so rich with hay they are lost
immediately, except for tails switching above the gold green grass.

Eyes close in the afternoon shade while a light breeze rustles
the paper. Ice melts and the remaining tea turns pale and drowns an ant.

Two boys toss a Frisbee back and forth over the head of a small
barking black dog. Another boy is ripping through the fields on a four-wheeler.

Their older brother is hunched uncomfortably in the heat, his gun at the ready,
two mortar rounds go off nearby. He is only deafened by the sound.

And the newspaper reads ‘46 dead last month in Afghanistan’. While some
man shoots helium filled balloons to land his flying chair in Idaho.

The pond is quiet, just mosquitoes launching out to be uneaten
by bats, or frogs, or the wasps the homeowners killed today.

The day closes moist and heavy, while revelers drink and throw their bottles
in the woods. And the night is pregnant with the sound of booming.

Becky Harblin is a sculptor who works in concrete and soapstone and also writes daily haiku and senryu. Each morning starts with these meditative 'in-the-moment' poems. Becky lives on a farm with sheep in upstate New York. After years of working in Manhattan she moved to the more pastoral setting and found new inspirations and new challenges. Her poetry has been published on New Verse News, and North Country Literary Journal. You may also view her poems at her Web site.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


by Phyllis Wax

The time was December 2002.
They were being trained to interrogate
prisoners at Guantanamo.

They saw the chart of techniques
and their effects on prisoners:
sleep deprivation, prolonged
constraint, exposure.

The Defense Department spokesman said
he couldn’t comment on the training chart.

They talked about all the variants,
the shadings of techniques:
isolation, semi-starvation,
darkness or bright light.

They learned how to get information
from the prisoners: filthy, infested surroundings;
demeaning punishments; exploitation
of wounds. Our enemies would confess.

The Defense Department spokesman said
he couldn’t comment on the chart.

Who found the chart?
Who copied the chart?
Who withheld its source—a 1957 paper
entitled Communist Attempts to Elicit
False Confessions from Air Force
Prisoners of War?*

In 2008 Senator Carl Levin, chairman
of the Senate Armed Forces Committee,
said that “every American would be shocked”
at the origins of the document.

The Defense Department spokesman
wouldn’t comment.

*from interviews with American prisoners of war held by the North Koreans

Phyllis Wax follows the news from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Most recently, she has been published in and will soon be published again in Out of Line and Free Verse. Her work has appeared on New Verse News six times.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


by Art Goodtimes

Call me terrible at sales.
I’m a bad capitalist.
Hard to fake.

Spent a couple of clevelands
on a chapbook.
Only sold a handful.

I mean, who pays
for poetry? Ended up just
givin’ it away.

As all my lovers did
in the Sixties. A gifted

As I did with herb.
Unable & unwilling
to sell my friends.

Who charges kin
to experience ecstatic
mindful mindlessness?

Which torques me back
to sales. Screw the spin.
All I can sell others on

is what I believe in.
And all I can keep’s
what longs to be given away

Poetry editor for Earth First! Journal (1981-91), Art Goodtimes makes his living as a freelance writer and third term Green Party county commissioner in Telluride, Colorado, and runs Talking Gourds, an annual earth festival dedicated to the word in performance. "Bad Capitalist" is part of a series called Hai-unCouth.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


by J.M. FitzGerald

A true record of a man like me
explains how extinction creeps in among the wise genus.
If I'm so smart, how'd I let myself go?
Compartmentalization. I thought I knew everything.

Or wanted to. Vanity.
Accepted what I was told and didn't check.
No idea of my dependence, I opened my eyes,
told the fall was flight.

The "civilized" are addicted to an unctuous combustible substance.
Oleum. From the Latin, olive oil. Greek olive.
Used in plastics, pesticides.

Within 193 nations are approximately 6 billion humans,
a tiny percentage of which is not addicted at all.
This is the natural man. The addicted often refer to these as "natives."
My people "evolved" from them.

As a child, I wondered why they wouldn't rather live
like us, in the city. That's laughable now.
The words native and natural come from the same root.
Earthen, dust filled, fashioned of dirt.

The natural man can live where he is born.
He grows not only in that place, but with it.
Actually, it grows him, for a purpose. They are one.
All I noticed was gas shoot to $7 per gallon, and it was over.

J.M. FitzGerald is a writer/attorney in Los Angeles. He represents the disabled by day, but at night, represents the darkness. He attended UCLA and the University of West Los Angeles School of Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. His first book, Spring Water, the fictional story of the mental life of a psycho bottling plant shipping clerk who poisons bottles of water and ships them to Los Angeles stores, was a Turning Point Books prize selection in 2005. Telling Time by the Shadows, a book of poems of love and longing, was released in April, 2008. Unpublished works in progress include Primate, the fictional tale of a sign-language speaking chimp allowed to testify in court, and The Zeroth Law, a work of creative literary non-fiction comparing the beliefs of the world's major religions to history, myth and science.

Monday, July 14, 2008


by David Treadway Manning

A wayward in the House of Saud,
he bombed their oil. It sprung a leak,
pleasing the twisted Wahabbi’s god.
Osama might have been a sheik

but chose to treat us with tough love.
Our oil-addiction cured for good,
his true intent? Push came to shove,
the Neo-Cons misunderstood.

Our dearth of philosopher kings demands
reliance on intuitive views.
Dubya held King Faisal’s hand,
plumbed Putin’s soul and found it true.

Faisal looked in Dubya’s soul
and found… a customer! Those SUV’s
won’t run on West Virginia coal.
His oil would help—for modest fees.

The Saudis are like us in many ways.
Their cities are shiny, just like ours,
but they keep their nightshirts on all day
and lop off heads when they go sour.

Someone please help me understand
whom should I hate and whom defend?
Saudi Osama or his Saudi clan,
which enemy of which enemy is my friend?

David Treadway Manning lives in Cary, North Carolina. A Pushcart nominee, his poems have appeared in many journals and five chapbooks, including The Ice-Carver, winner of the Longleaf Chapbook Competition in 2004. His full-length collection, The Flower Sermon, was published by Main Street Rag in 2007.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


by W.M. Yazbec

Everything sounds likes trouble. There’s only
sounds of agony or displeasure at the pool in my L.A.
courtyard. Children scream a lot. And then at night—
late, everything seems to gain a calm like the omnipresent
snails on the sidewalk here in the summer.

Looking out at these ridiculous hotel room apartments
like Jimmy Stewart makes them seem more valid; unlike
a reality show in which the person with the best hair-do
always seems to win.

I am certainly tired of this and wish there could be better
in all of us, but urban scrapheaps like this don’t offer
hope. Not at $1700 a month for one bedroom next to
a freeway where someone weekly dies and houses
lay empty.

W.M. Yazbec lives in Sherman Oaks, California and has published fiction, poetry, book reviews, and interviews in The Southeast Review, Drumvoices Revue, Black Creek Review, The Chaffin Journal, Chiron Review, and most recently in 21 Stars Review. He is currently an adjunct professor of transdisciplinary studies at Woodbury University in Burbank, California.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


by Greg Scott Brown

"Another human foot was found Wednesday on a British Columbia shoreline, the second this week and the sixth within a year in a bizarre mystery that has confounded police."
AP News item: 16 June, 2008

Six rough feet—
flesh, metatarsals
anklebones, and all—
washed up in a single year
on the Canadian shoreline,
each in running shoes.

If nothing else, that last bit is curious.
Are runners more likely to lose their feet?
More achingly poignant, to be sure,
as if such things mattered to the insensible universe.

Police are baffled:
      the feet did not seem severed
      or otherwise removed by force.

Who could fault the cops' touching certainty
feet won't secede from a torso laying claim
to the heart's proximity

and wouldn't willfully detach
to live free of the taint, of the name extremity?

Newspapers assure us (if assure is quite the word)
forensic pathologists will
      determine the source of the latest castaway foot
      and if it is related to other feet recently unearthed.

But, what I want to know is, what astonished beachcomber
found that first foot?
Digging sand with his toes,
then uncovering another's toes,

I wonder—
did he swoon with the old erotic charge of suddenly revealed flesh,

or kick it away
with his attached whole smug good foot?

Greg Scott Brown lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he teaches the mysteries of Composition to largely uninterested young people. His poetry has appeared in Tattoo Highway, the Umbrella Journal and Off the Rocks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


by Susan Roney-O’Brien

Pot-bound, the plant wants dividing.
I dump it out, try to pull snarled roots apart.

At first, people I’d never met were dying, mouths
packed with sand. Osama had resurfaced.

If, finally we cut him down, I thought,
cells will divide, regroup, swell again

like those within my co-worker’s body
that rounded out her belly like a child
split, then balled to kill her.

I cut the root ball into sections,
seat each cutting, tuck them in with earth.

Yesterday the boy next door came home in a box.
His flag-draped coffin filled the undertaker’s hall.

I place the repotted spiders on the windowsill
and hope they will survive.

Susan Roney-O’Brien teaches, reads for The Worcester Review and writes. Her work has appeared in Yankee, Prairie Schooner, Diner, Concrete Wolf, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Margin, Rock and Sling and other magazines. She has won the Worcester County Poetry Association Contest, the William and Kingman Page Poetry Book Award for her chapbook, Farmwife, and the New England Association of Teachers of English “Poet of the Year” award.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


by Vivek Sharma

When half of my nation sleeps
with half-filled bellies, under the half-roofs,
with half-hopes of a mouthful tomorrow,

when half of my nation grows up with half-rights
to education and employment,
with half-health produces babies, with a half-heart
chokes before the stoves that burn wood,
and cook half-water curries made with half-salt,

when half-length men walk the streets
half-naked, willing to work for half-wages,
half-grown women slip into beds at half-price,

when half-sane leaders pocket half-funds,
and divide the nation into halves that fight,
(haves and not-haves all half-fooled)
when half-castes organize into brigands,
and seek half-reservation for their half-intellect,

when half of the news is of rapes, riots, extortions,
half-nation worries about Naxalists, Maoists, terrorists,
half-resolved cases haunt the courts,
where victims of the crime wait their half-lives
for half-compensations,

when half-history is distorted or concocted,
sacrifices of men like Gandhi half-known, half-respected,
when half-heritage is lying like a wreckage, and half-religions
have pocketed half-faith and finished the better half,

when half-talented sportsmen cloud TV with ads,
half-naked woman talk of modernism with half-minds,
half-cultured men, type half-lies into their tax returns,
and half-acknowledge their sexual slights,

when half of my nation cannot even read or hear my voice,
and other half will ignore it by their own choice,
and half-close their eyes to see half-blessed dreams
of half-American lives.

Vivek Sharma grew up in Himachal Pradesh, a state in the Himalayas, India, and obtained his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Polymers at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. He has participated in Summer Seminar for Writers at Sarah Lawrence (2006-2008). His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Poetry, The Cortland Review and Terminus. He contributes columns to DivyaHimachal, a Hindi newspaper in India and his research has appeared in science journals.


Friday, July 04, 2008


by HL

“The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”
a quote attributed to Mark Twain

In a rhyme of history, the war tested Tiberius
Waits for his predecessor to pass.
Caligula came first this time.
The madman chose the warrior
Whose time now past
Can only chant the hollow platitude,

While the Senate fakes loyalty
To save their phony asses,
Their fool carries the message,
But the real disaster waits in secrecy.
Basking in a war turned disaster,
Not German, but all the verbs
Added like historical after thoughts
Say, the emperor is irrational,

The empire is doomed.
Yet there is no victory in treason,
No savior in divination.
All the enemy deaths and blood
Cannot reverse the tragic pattern
The modern Rome didn’t get backwards
Enough, to forswear a different ending.

HL 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 his HL link here and in the left column of The New Verse News.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


by Amy Holman

Let me be your dust mite,
a fetish carved
of turquoise and gut-wound tight.
Let me be your dust mite
beneath the weight of you, my rite, your fright,
my fetish; I'm starved.
Let me be your dust mite,
a fetish carved

into down and innerspring.
Let me be your
tightly wound dinner fling
into, down and inner—spring
me with all your might, sinew, curve, and swing.
I am seeking when I'm hiding, or
into down and innerspring,
let me be your

private dick--or eye
in the sofa spud. I will grow on you.
I've cut your moorings, haven't I?
Private? Dick or eye,
I sight my target, you are mine. Try
escaping, imploring. True,
private dick--or eye--
in the sofa, spud. I will grow on you.

Amy Holman has been playing around with current news and/or headlines for a couple of years, here and there, including publications in Failbetter, Archaeology (online), Unpleasant Event Schedule, Rattapallax, Shade, and soon, on the Red Morning Press web site. She is the author of Wait For Me, I'm Gone, which won the 2004 Dream Horse Press annual chapbook prize. She writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction and work freelance as a Literary Consultant out of her tiny apartment in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.