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Sunday, August 31, 2008


by Earl J. Wilcox

Take one part outright madness;
Add three parts beauty;
Two parts guts;
Four parts middle finger to the party.
Stir until well mixed.

Serve before one week.

This party favorite tends to spoil
over night unless kept
in a cold place such as Alaska
—or in John McCain’s brain.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he has contributed 38 poems to the New Verse News.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


by Ana Doina

For Dan Romascanu

Ignore the distressing foreground
the rampage, the killed pedestrians,
the orphaned, the maimed. The Palestinian man
shot dead in the bulldozer is not visible anyway,
although the BBC's headline speaks only of him
and the faultless blue skies.

Just look at the blessed Jerusalem weather
31 C degrees at the time the pictures were taken
humidity a typical 35% - truly
a gorgeous summer day
in the place we all worship.

The forecast should be good in the coming weeks.
Follow the news, there will be more snapshots,
Jerusalem is always in the headlines
and the weather is unerringly picture-perfect.

Pick your favorite drink now,
and have a nice day.

Ana Doina, a Romanian born writer and amateur photographer now living in United States, left Romania during the Ceausescu regime due to political pressures and social restrictions. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous American and international magazines and anthologies. She was nominated for Pushcart Prize in 2002 and 2005. Her photographs were exhibited in the "Art of the Flower 2007" show at the Philadelphia Sketch Club and at the Musee de l'Elysee exhibit "We Are All Photographers Now!" in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Friday, August 29, 2008

FOR DEL MARTIN (1921-2008)

by Mary Saracino

“Lesbian rights pioneer Del Martin, whose trailblazing activism spanned more than five decades, most recently in the battle for same-sex marriage, died Wednesday, just two months after she made history again by wedding her longtime partner in San Francisco City Hall .”
-- San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rainbow flags flutter half-mast
in the Castro District breeze,
America’s red-white-and-blue bows, too,
over San Francisco’s city hall in tribute to Del Martin
activist, writer, barrier-smashing woman
unabashed lesbian unafraid to proclaim
her Self to a world that didn’t want
to hear about it way back in 1955;
some patriots have lavender skin
that glows brilliant-neon in the shy
moonlit back alleys where shame hides;
some uppity Amazons, like Del, swing
their double-bladed labyris of hope
swathing a path through overgrown fields of bigotry,
carving a serpentine route toward a future world
where who you love no longer matters
as long as you love fiercely and well
with every part of your beating heart.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet and memoir-writer who lives in Denver , CO. Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. Her short story, "Vicky's Secret" earned the 2007 Glass Woman Prize.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


by Spiel

stark naked
we’re equal in the sauna
until i realize
two buzzed jerks on the tier
behind and above me
are tossing severed iraqi
body parts into their gab
like they are chalking up
empty coors cans

friendly rick the guy who
manages the pontiac lot down on 4th
starts squirming when
the jelly-bodied soldier says:
“if them blue-state fuckers
don’t like ar’ war let them volunteer
their righteous asses over there!”

rick joins in: “it’s not my war”

i feel jelly-body’s knee against
the back of my neck as he jolts to say:
“it’s yer god-dam country we’re savin
aint’ it”

rick says:
“according to your king”

the temperature of the sauna
seems to double as i abruptly
make myself disappear

while i dry off from a cold shower
rick passes me—head down—
a mounting bruise above
his left cheekbone

A Pushcart Prize contender, frequently published online and in independent press journals in the U.S.A., also in Nepal, Wales, Britain, Indonesia, Scotland, Ireland, and in Canada, The Poet Spiel creates diverse works of personal conflict and social consciousness. His newest book is she: insinuations of flesh brooding, published in 2008, by March Street Press. Learn more about his body of short stories, poetry, spoken word and art at Spiel's homepage.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008



By Diane Elayne Dees

August heat melts Chocolate City;
sidewalks buckle, minds on fire.
Mayor on attack, mayor on defense;
at least he's in town. Bright lights shine
on new scandals--media monsters
out to destroy a city on the rebound--
just ask His Honor, but approach him
slowly or he'll coldcock you.
That's a promise. Reporters out
to get him, city council out to get
him, bloggers out to get him.
Nobody can get him to take
responsibility. Denial is a part of grief:
Get him an engraved plaque,
and sing his praises.

Diane Elayne Dees is a Louisiana writer. Her political poetry has appeared in Out of Line, The New Verse News, HazMat Review, Mobius, and the 2008 and 2009 editions of the Syracuse Cultural Workers' Women Artists Datebook. A former political blogger, Diane publishes the women's professional tennis blog, Women Who Serve.

Monday, August 25, 2008


by David Chorlton

The day we had tickets for baseball
temperatures reached one hundred and eight.
We had one unopened bottle of mineral water,
clear and sparkling with an orange essence.
You can’t bring that in here the security guard said it’s flavoured
so we grumbled and tried the next gate down.
Same reaction. It's just water we shouted.
It's flavoured the guard replied you can’t bring flavours in.
So I said something beginning What the fuck is wrong . . .
while my wife unscrewed the top
and we sprayed a little on the security shoes
which brought the Sheriff’s officers to escort us
from the property. It wasn’t so much the dollar twenty-five
for the bottle but the apparatus that hurt.
Somebody makes up these rules
in an office, deciding what is water and how
to make the ball park safer for concessions.
We walked to the station to catch the bus home,
past the homeless nobody has managed yet to wash away,
with fans streaming in the other direction
arriving too late for the national anthem.
O say can you see in the fine print on the label
that there’s flavour here? Can you bottle freedom?
We’re climbing down from the tip of the iceberg
through rules and the sterility
surrounding us. When the sports anchor says
Arizona Diamondbacks win six to three that’s the only
true part of the news. The rest is there to deflect us
from war and what it costs, to pretend
fund raising is the same as a democratic election, to glorify
the military and demean immigrants, to sell
stool softener and tell us the side effects of medications.
You don’t need television when you ride the bus
to see who’s falling lower than the minimum wage.
We rode the short way home, connecting the dots
from our T-shirts all the way to China, lamenting
corporate control with the way everybody is just
taking it and we hadn’t even started to consider
the environment. Exploitation, destruction, invasions,
missile shield: why get upset? After all it was only a bottle of water.

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

Sunday, August 24, 2008


PoeArtry by Dr. Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote

Wunderkind stutter nonsense tongue untwisted
Shoots from lip taking on
Drug companies HMOs oily motives
Speaking – and speaking – his mind

U.S. Prime sizzle at stake
Mixed Grill marinated mutton skewered
Same Old Shish kebab leftovers
Shorn woolgathers’ naked untruths exposed

Kid gloves removed brass knuckles
Never shying away from prizefight
Subtle sparring jabs uppercut punches
Going for McBush jugular knockout

Humble roots soil shaken off
VEEP transplant 4N policy expert
Embers rekindling fire of idealism
Phoenix rising igniting eagle-eyed Hope

The dynamic duo of always toptimistic upstARTs, Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote edit, an eclectic cosmopolitan poeartry quarterly EZine. Check out Dr. Chazz’s No Holds Bard website:, and Saknarin’s new Glad Thaidings exhibition:

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Homage to New Poet Laureate

by Earl J. Wilcox

Were you
Those years
I needed you
When critics
Told me
Did not
Old maids
Like Emily Dickinson
Or old farts,
Like me,
Sticking up
Like a
At the world.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he has contributed 37 poems to the New Verse News.

Friday, August 22, 2008


by Bill Costley

Wayback in the quick-rising ‘60s
‘voluntary poverty’ arose
within the disaffected 1st-world's
middle-class: suddenly its children
‘went back to the land’ to escape
parents’ plush suburban homes
for a ‘conscious’ anti-consumerist,
‘natural’ pre-'50s lifestyle.

A half-century later it’s merged
with the whole foods movement,
irrelevant to any known poverty,
its ‘perfectly priced’ mantra an insult
to the world's starving. Admit that
neo-consumerism’s co-opted it;
re-break the consumerist mold.

Declare ‘adequacy’ universal,
‘enough’ everyone's need.

Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


by David Plumb

Cash poured from clouds and crucifixes
devoid of beard and harp.
Tiny kings who once sold watches
on their right arm held the trump card.
Oil-slicked ducks, lakes poisoned, grain dipped in yesterday’s grease.
The Party ongoing, strident, planned, driven, awarded
kissed, the carpet rolled out.
If Adlai had been too intellectual
Today’s good old boys were THE BOYS.
Fiddling, waving wands. always at the tee
One hole to the next, a bogey, a birdy
a wink, an aside, cigars passed out.
Air awash in cough and melt.
From Beijing to Brooklyn it stunk
and still the parade never stopped.
If the flag wavered, an exposed breast
posted the obvious solution.
A motel room, a fling in the sheets.
Don’t forget to leave something on the dresser.
The economy, why of course.
“Whatever,” kept the boat afloat.
The affront to heroics and myth splattered
in sophomoric, whimsical and abortive dances.
Amnesia that even the poets welcomed.
Blank effusive verse coddled in fellowships, grants
images without shoes, Eisenhower froth, casual affronts to the lawn
tittering fools in a bottle, it was coming to a head.
Short cuts to virtuosity, the new Bible, Facebook offerings
commissions of blink and run, better still a casket at your local discount center
Swipe that card, climb in now.
From endless pitches to the pill that fixed all
a sandwich a car, something, “Real.”
Legislature awash in unread bills and inflated underwear.
Nearly all hands in the pot, judges limped to the horizon.
Briefcase empty; America needed a Raisin d’ Etre
Lamb chop dreams boggled in mist..
What icon stood in the empty hallway?
America drove to the airport.
Said goodbye, stood in line.
Took off its shoes and bowed
To the most recent invasion of privacy.
Rights in nay direction.
Fear the common denominator.
Three ounce toothpaste, shampoo
Lipstick but not too much.
America tapped phones, flags waved
but no crowds, no visible salutes.
America hummed but it forgot the words
that once defined its heart.

David Plumb’s latest fiction book is A Slight Change in the Weather. He has worked as a paramedic, a cab driver, a, cook and tour guide. A long time San Francisco writer, he now lives in South Florida . Will Rogers said, “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Plumb says, “It depends on the parrot.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


by Phyllis Wax

The flaming eyes of night
hard red tears
whistle in the dark

Untamed the bear lumbers
into a place he doesn’t belong

                    run, run
                         hide in the cellar

cracks his knuckles
swats to rubble what’s in his path

                    grab your children

Enraged by the thorns
he upends roses
tears the petals from their faces

brushes aside twittering complaints

Belching smoke
he strews bricks
scatters bones

Far away the mighty eagle puffs himself up
flaps his wings, opens
his toothless mouth
thinks he can spit
and paste the petals back on

When she is not riding her bike along the shore of Lake Michigan, Phyllis Wax keeps up with the news in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Most recently she has been published in Out of Line, Free Verse, Wisconsin Poets' Calendar and The New Verse News.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


by Alan Catlin

This is what the News channels
don't show you: the photos cropped,
the devastation localized, sense of
proportion denied, the wreckage
after the bombing, the suicidal rage,
black robes and hand grenades, satchel
charges and plastic explosives,
the pillaged crowded village square,
city streets redesigned as craters,
sheltered stalls and outdoor markets
made into charnel houses, uncensored
scenes from Brueghel, Bosch: the gutted
fowl, deformed monsters, headless
horsemen and their horses flung about,
reduced to pieces of an imperfect whole
bathed in a blood wash amid the buckled
pavement, the concrete blast protectors,
alleyway mazes flushed by sewage and
marked by detached retinas, the eyes
that see everything no longer human.

Alan Catlin's latest chapbook is a long poem, Thou Shalt Not Kill, an updating of Rexroth's seminal poem of the same name. Whereas Rexroth riffs on the abuses of the Eisenhower adminstration, the update observes abuses of power in the current administration with particular attention to the cynical, criminal behavior towards the Katrina hurricane victims. More than one year later, the victims are not forgotten. No matter how many candles the Bushes light, the appalling lack of humanity and the blatant hypocrisy of the folks in charge is as apparent as the disenfranchised, the homeless, and the poverty stricken people of the Gulf states.

Monday, August 18, 2008


by Jo Barbara Taylor

2007 was a bad year for bees.
They abandoned ancient hives to disappear
in the wind, it seemed, to change
ecosystems—perhaps forever—
and the price of honey skyrocketed
in the economics of supply and demand.

But the bees were convening in a secret
summit conference, and on the agenda:

* drilling for new hives
* updating outdated refining combs
* controlling the flow of honey

! Do not tamper with the bees,
   they can sting you where it hurts.

Jo Barbara Taylor lives in North Carolina, but is an Indiana farm girl at heart. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in Resolution: Women’s Words, Mount Olive Review, and Beacon and will soon appear in Ibbetson Street. She edits the newsletter for the North Carolina Poetry Society.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


by Carol Dorf

1) February 13

In the park outside my classroom, flags --
Twenty foot by thirty foot stars and stripes
Patriotic music blares from speakers.
They want us to be nice to the military recruiters.

Police in riot helmets, face plates lifted stand
watching 30 or 40 people.But this is Berkeley,
so there are bike cops in bike helmets,
and bareheaded community service officers.

Across the street pink signs, more flags, some stars
and stripes, some with peace signs; maybe 75 people.
In between, there are television trucks with their cranes,
reporters waiting for something interesting to happen.

Every 60 minutes, a new group of students, jams
to the windows to watch the action, and then I hustle
them back to their seats. "Find the vertex," "If a rocket is shot
directly upward with an initial velocity...," not the best example for today.

At lunch someone gives kids orange bandanas
and they walk around the park to protest the war.
The skateboarders watch at the edges, pissed off
that their playground has been given over to the big picture.

People come from all over the country to blast
patriotic rock and scold us into loving the war.
They imagine us in a myth of the sixties -- the houses
and apartments of our day-to-day lives invisible.

2) February 14

Valentine's Day, and the school fills
with balloons and stuffed animals.
Tomorrow is Lincoln's Birthday observed.
Gulls pick through the trash on the out-of-towners
side of the demo: coffee cups, bags of chips, napkins,
wrappers. Did they try any of our ethnic restaurants,
or Chez Pannisse alumni coffee shops? Berkeley's
industrious poor have already sorted
through the recycling leaving the rest of the trash
for the city to deal with. Next week, I'll teach factoring.
Today teenagers devour candy hearts.

Carol Dorf's poems have appeared in New Verse News, Fringe, The Midway, Poemeleon, Babelfish, Edgz, Runes, Feminist Studies, Heresies, Poetica, Responsa, The NeoVictorian, Caprice and elsewhere. She is a former editor of Five Fingers Review. She's taught in a variety of venues including a science museum, and as a California Poet in the Schools. She now teaches at Berkeley High School.

Friday, August 15, 2008


by John Grey

They razed the green meadow
to build "Green Meadow" housing estate.
" Blue Lake " was drained
for the Blue Lake apartments.
Since " Cardinal Crescent " was laid,
we haven't seen a red-winged bird.
Couples are moving in,
boasting, "This will be our love nest."
And the day that it is,
the last nest will be smashed down.

John Grey has been published recently in Agni, Worcester Review, South Carolina Review, and The Pedestal. He has work upcoming in Poetry East and REAL.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


by Bruce Taub

It is a beautiful sunny morning
At apartheid gate 927
The Israeli soldiers are listening to rock music
They are in their 20s
They have automatic weapons
Uniforms, walkie talkies
Humvees, tanks
F16 fighter jets, a nuclear arsenal
We are Palestinian farmers
With donkeys and tractors
With seed
And lunch in plastic bags
We are four Americans over fifty
With cameras, cell phones, and bottled water
We are Bedouin with sheep and goats and identity cards
We dismount from our donkeys and tractors
And wait
Wait long enough to see the falcon hunting
To see the wild dog with the stolen chicken
Wait to be admitted through the small gate
To the turnstile
Then into the concrete bunker
To wait at the counter
To show our passes
To be released into a holding area
To go back through the sliding gate
To get back on our donkeys and tractors
To pass through the big gate
Opened only certain hours
Of certain days
To get onto our land
Our own land
On the other side of this abominable fence
That separates us from our fields
From our trees and fruit
From our grass, our rocks, our graves
On the other side of this fence
That separates us from our brothers and sisters
We stand in the sun two hours
On the side of this fence
That separates us from our livelihoods
On the side of the fence
That separates us

Bruce Taub is an American attorney and peace activist. He has been to Palestine four times in the last two years helping with the olive harvest and olive tree planting on Palestinian village lands captured by Israel during the construction of the apartheid barrier wall.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


by Howie Good

Better stay on your meds. Or get some.
Otherwise how will you ignore
the pile of hacked-off limbs on the hospital lawn,
the amputees limping or crawling away,
as disability permits,
their sacrifice worse than forgotten – misremembered?
You’ll end up scribbling on napkins
and the last remaining walls, and the scribbles,
presuming they’re discovered,
will sound when pieced together
like a suicide note left to mislead investigators.
Christ, you’ll end up like me,
driving slowly over a bridge of bones,
your face gray with exhaustion,
while along the slatternly, post-industrial river,
morning birds sing in the cadaverous trees.

Howie Good’s latest chapbooks are Last Words, available online from Gold Wake Press and Police & Questions, available online from Right Hand Pointing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


by Dale Goodson

no nail
no wood

so why the pounding

I’m not made of metal
neither are you
not oak
not stone

but look at the damage
as if we were

instead of a box
or a fence
or a chair
we swing the things at each other

and it’s not just us
strangers’ll do it too
take a brute mallet
and let fly

everyone knows we don’t hold up well –
about like paper

but still
hammers, clubs
anything to deliver a blow


what about effort in that direction
should be something there for everybody

something that
could start in the kitchen over tea
or out in the hallway
where nothing ever happens

something gentle
something molecular
the fine ether that surrounds
this planet of neighbors

could be we do that-
make that effort

then start again
hands free

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

Monday, August 11, 2008


by Jon Wesick

Mac: Hi, I’m a Mac.

PC: And I’m a PC.

Both: We’re running for president.

PC: If you elect me, I’ll exploit my interoperability with the business community.

Mac: At the expense of ordinary, hard-working Americans. After your predecessor rebated RAM to gamers, most families were left with only 512 MB. If anything goes wrong, they could never afford tech support.

PC: At least I won’t raise taxes to spend on expensive peripherals. And I won’t appoint Linux-based judges either!

Mac: Let’s hope you don’t nominate another FEMA director with a 4.7 MHz processor. What are you taping to your head, PC?

PC: A web cam. It lets me video conference with my wealthy donors.

Mac: But the NSA already has covert video surveillance integrated with illegal wiretapping.

PC: There you go again, getting soft on national security. With my spreadsheets and pie charts I’m the perfect platform to control the nation’s nuclear arsenal. What do you have? Home movies?

Mac: That’s right. Check out this video of you visiting a DC prostitute. I made it with iMovie.

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.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


by Earl J. Wilcox

Not even a five billion year-old glimpse of Casper and Pollux
Nor prints of Romulus and Remus
Nor Chinese birth certificates of Chang and Eng
Nor God’s order to begin night and day
Nor tit for tat’s origins
Nor A to Zed’s remote beginnings
Nor Heaven and Hell’s first battle cry
Nor Dizzy and Daffy’s womb snaps
Nor Sturm und Drang’s Germanic links
Nor Romeo & Juliet’s wedding certificate
Nor Hansel & Gretel’s map through the woods.

Well, we get the picture. Nothing we can name
will be worth the price a tawdry journal paid for
photos of two movie celebs’ babies. Picture that.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he has contributed 38 poems to the New Verse News.

Friday, August 08, 2008


PoeArtry by Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote

Few mortals reach Olympus summit
     Walt Whitman shouted Vivas for
          All those who have failed
               But done so with dignity

               Mental gymnastics uplifting weighty burden
          Keeping track tripping over hurdles
     Hop-skip-jumping to conclusions
High bar leaps of faith

Dashed chance bruised ego stumbles
     Secondhand excuses up for grabs
          Relay team blaming each other
               Dropped baton scapegoats butted off

               Triumphant past never repeats itself
          Once upon probably never was
     Broken records pieced back together
Promise stuck in vinyl crack

Failed courage coming up short
     Unjeweled crown bleeding thorny sweat
          Ploughshares dragged across furrowed brow
               Phantom spirit letdown unsung anthem

               Disneyworld moments regurgitated umpteen times
          Hero worship glorifies nationalistic pride
     Surpassing expectations bettering personal bests
Smiling adverts hoped for hype

The dynamic duo of always toptimistic upstARTs, Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote edit, an eclectic cosmopolitan poeartry quarterly EZine. Check out Dr. Chazz’s No Holds Bard website:, and Saknarin’s new Glad Thaidings exhibition:

Thursday, August 07, 2008


by Robert Anbian

Let me tell you a little bit
about my life.
I have always lived in this neighborhood
and always will, god willing.
That’s my son playing fútbol
down by the river, near the bridge.
A new bridge, and ugly,
built for the heavy trucks that come and go.
It stands where people used to ford the river,
on foot or in cars, even the buses crossed,
though the passengers had to get out and walk.
The women hiked up their skirts, the men rolled up their pants,
and everyone carried their shoes.
Everyone complained and everyone laughed.
My family has always lived here,
and the river has always been here.
When I was a kid the water was clean.
I used to bathe in it, everybody did.
In summer, families camped on the shore,
lanterns were strung along the river’s edge,
and we kids went swimming at night.
Later, when the factories came,
occupying the hillsides where goats used to graze,
I saw the water changing colors, green, yellow, red.
When I got a bit older, I started working in the factories
and my nose began to bleed.
I started having kidney problems and trouble breathing.
My daughter developed brown spots.
My son itches all over.
When I come home, walking over that bridge,
my clothes reek of burnt plastic.
And when I look at the river, I feel sadder than the saddest song I ever heard.

Samples from Robert Anbian's new spoken word CD, I NOT I, can be heard on MySpace and is available from Edgetone Records as well as major download services. This is Anbian's fourth appearance on New Verse News.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

AUGUST 6, 1945

by Robert M. Chute

     As I came out of the matinee, squinting
into the afternoon sun, the sidewalks
glittered with silvery chips I hadn't noticed
     when I went in —

     The Jacksonville evening paper headlined
a new kind of bomb we'd dropped on a city
they called Hiroshima. The Greyhound bus
took all night to cross north Florida
to the air base. With a day's leave left
     I hung out in town.

     I remember the sea of dark faces parting
to let me join the flow of whites out
into a glittering afternoon, into a world
where everything had changed and yet
     nothing had changed.

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.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


by David Feela

With every pleasure comes a little pain,
which explains why the jellyfish
are lounging at the beaches.

The tourists don’t understand.
They huddle with their children
under an umbrella

which appears itself like
a giant jellyfish
preempting their vacation plans.

Scientists shake their fingers,
how we’ve over-fished the fish
that feed on the jellyfish,

how fertilizers from our lawns
running into the oceans
green more than just the land.

Stay flexible, the jellyfish say,
and what feels like pain
will be pleasure one day.

David Feela is a poet, free-lance writer, writing instructor, book collector, and thrift store pirate. His work has appeared in regional and national publications, including High Country News’s "Writers’s on the Range," Mountain Gazette, and in the newspaper as a "Colorado Voice" for The Denver Post. He is a contributing editor and columnist for Inside/Outside Southwest and for The Four Corners Free Press. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments (Maverick Press), won the Southwest Poet Series. A new poetry book, The Home Atlas, will be released in 2009.

Monday, August 04, 2008


by Dale Goodson


like Mt. Everest
in the backyard

but forget pigment
it could be anything

the guy in the oddly shaped hat
the one who smells of garlic
the skinny one
the fat one
(a woman!)

we grow suspicious
and small
a loss of flexibility
it takes so little to alarm

you can play it that way

but there are rules
and they don’t begin with the toss of coin

ignore that
and everything is fair game

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

Saturday, August 02, 2008


by Earl J. Wilcox

Sudden summer thunderstorm cadences
march in like invading armies, push
aside resistance from ballgames, equestrians
jumping over latticed fences, placid
summer scenes forced to become quixotic.
Threatening, dark clouds overwhelm
skies, dominate landscapes, send crushing,
cascading lightening, hail, and rain.

Summertime living is not always easy,
despite jumping catfish, high cotton,
rich daddies and good looking mamas.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he has contributed 36 poems to the New Verse News.

Friday, August 01, 2008


by Mary Saracino

Sucked into cyber-space
orbiting planet commerce
poetry vampires
leach cosmic marrow
from my bones

The stolen, rhythmic essence
oozes from the fetid fangs
of web text & sales prose
written in blood-homage
to the gods of business

A tattered price tag dangles
from the tongues
of profiteers who punch
my meal ticket
CEOs cough up
cash for market-driven lingo
sign no paychecks for poems

Somewhere, Erato sits
a wry smile upon her elegiac face,
scribbling sonnets onto
the underbellies of plump clouds
penning audacious odes
to all things essential
ephemeral, true

The Muse knows
poetry is manna
soul-mantra, sustenance
to the human heart
needed more than air
more than food
more than greenbacks
to stay alive, alive
to thrive

Mary Saracino is a novelist, poet and memoir-writer who lives in Denver , CO . Her most recent novel, The Singing of Swans (Pearlsong Press 2006) was a 2007 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. Her short story, "Vicky's Secret" earned the 2007 Glass Woman Prize.