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Monday, June 30, 2008

GAZA

by J. R. Solonche


For this you can blame Olmert.
For this you can blame Sharon .
For this you can blame Barak.
For this you can blame Netanyahu.

For this you can blame Peres.
For this you can blame Shamir.
For this you can blame Begin.
For this you can blame Meir.

For this you can blame Eshkol.
For this you can blame Dayan.
For this you can blame Ben Gurion.
For this you can blame Atlee.

For this you can blame Truman.
For this you can blame Balfour.
For this you can blame Jacob.
For this you can blame Esau.

For this you can blame Isaac.
For this you can blame Abraham.
For this you can blame God.
For this you can blame the desert.


J.R. Solonche is coauthor (with wife Joan Siegel) of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). His poems have appeared in many magazines, journals, and anthologies since the 1970s. He teaches at SUNY Orange in Middletown, New York.
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Friday, June 27, 2008

MISSISSIPPI

PoeArtry by Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote



mIssIssIppI mighty global warming victim
     Four eyes but cannot see
          Beyond questions asked repeatedly over&over
               Again&again&again but gone answered

Minnesotaproot source Itaska’s icy depths
     Ioway too little too late
          Illinoise clamoring for fed-up relief
               Downstream bent on human Missouri

Where NEWS meteorologist Twain meet
     Running rampant through ten(se) states
          Of emergency declared belonging evacuated
               Antiquated levees infrastructure caving in

Tornadoes hail-hailing heartland transplants
     Buckle of Corn Belt cinched
          Farmland inundated soybeans crops swamped
               Filling stopgap sandbags with grit

Jazzy paddle-wheel showboats dry docked
     Maverick gamblers cashing in stakes
          Double-dealing poker deck stacked against
               Villainous handlebar mustachio Nature hIssIssIppI


The dynamic duo of always toptimistic upstARTs, Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote edit AvantGardeTimes.com, an eclectic cosmopolitan poeartry quarterly EZine. Check out Dr. Chazz’s No Holds Bard website: PoetryArtCombo.com, and Saknarin’s new Glad Thaidings exhibition: http://www.poeartrygallery.th.gs/.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

70 WORDS WE CAN SAY ON TV

PUNCH LINES FOR GEORGE CARLIN


by Earl J. Wilcox



Here lies a man of sorrow and mirth,
who crafted a joke better than Betty
Crocker baked a cake, showed us
a heart more often than Daddy
Warbucks, and loved the human race
despite believing most of us are not
much better than Swift’s Yahoos.
If somehow reincarnation is possible,
one could do worse than return as
George Carlin. Wherever he is tonight,
can we really imagine he’s at rest?


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 35 poems to the New Verse News.
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

YESTERDAY’S NEWS

by Scot Siegel


Sleepless or dream consciousness,
Doesn't matter – another twenty thousand troops
Do their second tour of duty
In less than eighteen months
Our commanders entrenched
In the Oval Office are making maps again
They keep the blinds down
While Generals at the Pentagon shout orders
To their heirs in the green zone
Who keep pulling the blinds open
Straining for a view of the draw down coming...

*

Meanwhile, the druggist’s eldest son from Spearfish, South Dakota
     and the plumber’s lesbian daughter from Mobile , Alabama
     and the nurse’s sister from Hollister , California
     and the valedictorian from Bliss, Idaho
     and the veterinarian’s brother from Sandoval , New Mexico
     and the failed actress without a permanent address in LA
     and the burned-out waitress runaway
     and the young rapist who’s record was expunged –

All carry supplies, and walk ahead scouting for snipers
Sweeping mines, or walking behind
Watching for incoming missiles
Back of the hundred mile convoy. Gritty.

*

Meanwhile, at home in the good old USA ,
A Chevy Impala pierces the blue heat of the Interstate
In Iowa, Spring slips a disc into summer’s flooding…
And in Oregon, our green city spills over its banks full of itself...
As I watch my wife sleeping in, sheets rising with her belly-breathing

     and the television blooms yesterday’s news –


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.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

HEADED FOR A FALL

by Linda O"Connell


Going to hell in a hand basket sounds safer
than taking a plunge in the stock market.

If the American dollar won’t buy a nickel's worth of product overseas,
why am I paying sky high prices for milk and bread?

And what's with the petro places playing poker
with my tens cents per gallon either way?
Day, after day, after day.

I'm ready to stash my cash in a mason jar,
which I think
is better by far
than banks on the brink.

I used to fear the fatsos at the food buffets playing with my meat,
Now it's the Double D branded cows:
diseased and dying before we fry 'em
that makes me not want to eat.

There's more and more to worry about
E Coli on my veggies, bacteria in the air,
poison in the water,
toxins in my plastic ware.

Double Dumb's trickle down theory
opened the floodgates,
cannibalized the middle class,
sent industry and soldiers overseas,
as we the people, collectively closed our eyes, shut our mouths
and relinquished personal freedoms in the name of the great old U. S. of A.

Today it's your neighbor living on the edge,
hanging by a string, wondering what to do,
Baby the wolf is on your doorstep.
Tomorrow it could be you.

United we stand, divided we fall.
America is declining fast.
It's time for every citizen to stand up, speak out and
Get up off their big fat ass.


Linda O'Connell is a widely-published multi-genre freelance writer. Her publishing credits include Chicken Soup for the Democrat's Soul, a new release. Her personal essays have appeared in several other Chicken Soup books. Linda's poetry has been published on New Verse News. Her work has been featured in literary journals, periodicals, anthologies and newspapers.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

THE SON RISES IN THE WEST

by Gerard Sarnat


Homeless hubbub 'cross from posh mall,
beside railroad tracks, sad cold facts:
a bold disheveled unleveled ghostly street Jesus
-- shoulder straggly beard and hair,
bare feet on shards and concrete --
guards courage cart lifted from Safeway
(full of garbage). Remote unto himself
in ragged rank raincoat,
hands grasping storm soggy Bible,
he gestures absurdly to birds, preaches at trees,
celebrates amidst the leaves and shit,
screeches to no one in turded Stygian grottoes
behind chic Silicon Valley restaurants
beyond a heater liberated from patios above
to the center of the center where bored drugged
libeled disabled unhoused unlucky sick men
gather to suck luke coffee,
rejoice in day-old discarded raspberry tarts,
some awaiting deliverance -- others the bus.


In hole-y dissolute jeans, old hiking boots,
ill-fitting ill-suited navy blue parka,
gnarly mittens, ratty ski mask
pulled over nose and ears;
I wander the parking lot
from here to there then back again,
black bag grasped tight (clean syringes within),
rasp good cheer, sometimes feed,
sometimes bark advice, always proffer care
-- deeds to show somehow someone cares;
while well-meaning volunteers,
mostly Stanford students (one Aspergian)
alongside retired Social Register church-goers
(compassionate lefties surviving on trusts)
stare at me playing doctor, a hard-hatted healer
laying hands on a Jesus and his brothers.


Gerard Sarnat splits time between his San Francisco Bay Area forest home and Southern California's beaches. He is a seeker and Jewbu, married forty years/father of three/grandfather, physician to the disenfranchised, past CEO and Stanford professor, and virginal poet at the tender age of sixty-two. Gerry has recently been published or is forthcoming in Aha!Poetry, AscentAspirations, Atavar, AutumnLeaves, BathysphericReview, Bird&Moon, BlackZinnias, BlueJewYorker, ChicagoPoetry, CRITJournal, Defenestration, Etude, EZAAPP, Flutter, FurnaceReview, HissQuarterly, Jack, Juked, LanguageandCulture, LoudPoet, MyFavoriteBullet, NewWorksReview, Nthposition, OrigamiCondom, PensonFire, PoetsAgainstWar, Rambler, RiverWalkJournal, SlowTrains, SoMa, Spindle, StonetableReview, SubtleTea, SugarMule, ThePotomac, ThievesJargon, UndergroundVoices, UnlikelyStories, and WildernessHouseReview among others. Just Like the Jones', about his experience caring for Jonestown survivors, was solicited by JonestownAnnual Report and will appear later this year. He is currently working on an epic prose poem, The Homeless Chronicles. The California Institute of Arts and Letters' Pessoa Press will publish his first book. Gerry is a member of Poets and Writers, qualifying in both Creative Nonfiction and Poetry.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

IN THE ARMY NOW

by Becky Harblin


The longest day,
the most light Sun will
give us,
today
a long shadow made
for long hours
by a tree whose very bark
slowly peels away
holding,
just barely,
loose,
and then it flies
in the wind,
away
from the tree, a parent
reluctant
to send a child off to
life.
The longest day,
imagining the child
on this solstice, and the storm
raging in the distance
and you can’t do,
you can not do
anything but watch
it rage
and your child has peeled
loose and is free
to do
what
soldiers do.


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.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

HER DUE

by Chris Freifeld


If she was backed into a corner,
it was a lofty one.
I heard the rafters ringing
when she announced her race was run.
My heart was with the harridans
whose time is yet to come. The nags
who pulled a stubborn plow through
stone embedded fields. How fertile
is the hard earth now, turning
with the seasons, knowing
when to yield.


Chris Freifeld lives in the U.S.A. where sanity doesn't grow on trees.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

REMEMBERING HAWKEYE

by Karen Garrison


war is hell
the swamp is holy refuge from hell
war is here again
not happy days
take me to your swamp
drown me in dusty dry gin

your eyes pierce the pain
with one liners that Groucho would’ve surely
loved to steal

had he gone to your war
you did him proud

now they go again and again
and you aren’t here

until late night, in a darkened room
I listen to your caustic rage and
rollicking sarcasm,
and taste your tears streaming
down my frightened lips

I need a family that loves, cries
and holds on, that operates
on each other’s wounds like yours did

but we are a house divided

I need a man who’s eyes take hold with truth
no matter how hard it is to tell,
melt me with their sincerity
and hold me fixed by their honesty
because he cares so about the casualties
and home

it came through the situation
time and again
you cared

you spoke out
with courage against a quagmire
and now your words are in
eternal rerun
here here

I need your flirting
smiling, prankish
innocent sweetness
a plea for comfort and
fleeting interruptions from the endless
surge of nightmare meatball
madness

you are real in Alan -
and out there somewhere now
-- again -- somewhere
come home soon
to my sweet dreams
on late night
when war should be just a story to tell
not an endless living hell
Hawkeye you basted the unthinkable with
honey from your smooth tongue
the salt of your own tears

oh God send us another Captain Pearce to doctor our
broken hearts
and brush away
our ghastly fears
with black laughter

this war is hell


Karen Garrison is a certified massage therapist and recovering clinical social worker. Having recently begun writing seriously, at age 52, she is beginning with poetry. And loving it immensely.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

JADED

by Megan Anne Metzelaar


The plastic lady implores me to care
Through the camera,
Mournful imitations seep into my living room,
Belying adrenaline rushing her veins,
Purple like mine, but
Hidden beneath alabaster skin,
A face pulled tight.

Stories like these bought designer shoes,
Expensive leather purses,
Lunch at Tavern on Green.
Voice lifting to the next octave,
She tells about the old man,
Paralyzed in the street, a hit and run,
Onlookers contemplating too long
Whether to step an inch closer.
They did not step closer.

Warning: video is disturbing.
Tape rolls, her feigned sighs the
Accompaniment, contrived music
Learned through years of practice.
The voyeur crowd could be her relatives,
A family of frozen white-ice people
Far removed from the nobler instincts.

She secretly likes them, The Plastics,
No matter what she says,
And would have stood among them
On the sidewalk,
Looking at the crumpled man
Through the crowd of her familiars,
Wondering who would be
Her first interview.


Megan Anne Metzelaar rescues wayward animals when she is not writing.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

LINKING WORDS

by Deborah Vatcher


ballistic the cosmos this dream
comet flaming sun energy crashes headfirst
into Mars its tail smoking disabled and spent
on the iraqinvasion.com
confused
     perplexed no hypertext to link to only
a domain name for sale
what etymology
—did Cicero Latinize veriloquium
the tangled words
roots to the visible
tree
depending on the sun’s angle
that casts opposing shades of truth
did some untie sense too late
     with boots on the ground
elements dig into the archeology of meaning
reports and Senate committees dispute
published memoirs also refute what
distortions bent bulletproof facts to fit policy
linking Saddam to Al-Qaeda to 9/11
spinning the sun around the Earth and the moon


Deborah Vatcher is a physician whose practice is currently on hold due to illness. Her poems have appeared in various journals including The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Rio Grande Review, Fetishes, and the online journals Best Poem, and Flutter. Her first collection of poems is titled Attic Clean Out.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

WHEN THE WATER DISAPPEARERED

by Joannie Kervran Stangeland


It had been going all along,
flowing out of pipes and spigots
into sinks and showers, irrigation ditches,
soaking the lawns, the dandelions.

Hoses trickled to a drip.
Grass dried, and then the dirt.
Dishes piled up on the counter,
laundry heaped up on the floors.
The glasses were full of only air.
We drank the air, bought paper plates.

The news printed debates
by leading experts in their fields:
We were healthy, we were dying,
we were melting.

We woke up and saw the sun
on the curtains, on the oranges,
in a square that the cat sprawled across.
Our mouths felt dry as dirt
and we forgot about any headlines
from the capital city.


Joannie Kervran Stangeland’s work has most recently appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association and Pontoon. Her first chapbook, A Steady Longing for Flight, won the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. Her second chapbook, Weathered Steps, was published by Rose Alley Press.
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

FATHER'S DAY

by Scot Siegel


The man hung from a blue-striped tie
my mother tugged on Sunday

The pressmen could wait, she'd say;
then he'd bolt for the door...

Hollering four or five;
home for dinner he told us...

Then we'd wait, and wait...
Eight p.m. Chicken rubbery

Flies on the rice. City lights
blinking through the ink flood...

I waited in the street lamp pall
I waited with the vagrants

Kept vigil by a fire. Waited under
the overpass at midnight. Fatherless

Waited for the Chevy sound
creeping down the alley. The handout:

The murmur of my mother greeting him
the smell of ink mixed with a strange perfume

His hands pulling the cool sheets
over my bony body --


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.
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DUBY@ FEELS @ SENSE OF P@IN

by Bill Costley


[newspoem]

“I feel a sense of pain
for those who were tortured by Saddam,
by the parents
who watched their daughters raped by Saddam,
by those innocent civilians who have been killed by
inadvertent allied action,
by those who have been bombed by suicide bombers.
I feel a sense of pain for death.
I feel a sense of pain for the families of our
troops.

“And a responsibility to make sure
they understand the sacrifice won't go in vain.
They want to know whether or not the President,
if he believes it was necessary,
whether he is going to see this thing through.
Nothing is worse than a politician
making decisions based on the latest poll
when people's lives are at stake.”


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union.
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

POTENTIAL

by Helga Kidder


In this age of robots and instant gratification,
thank God, I still sadden at a golf ball
sized skull discovered gardening,
shudder at an immature serpent
caught in the rake among dried leaves.
It is easily coaxed between rocks in
this blackberry winter and mist rain
roses repay with profusion -- a transition
that lifts the mind off the ground, nose
closer to home and potato soup inside.

My mother's day bouquet blooms yellow
in a white basket like new age religion --
for a little while -- current TV shows,
the wilder the better, a step backward.
As long as we can stumble or limp or hop
on one foot forward, as long as our eyes
see promise on the horizon, a light ahead --
the way the early hominid, Orrorin Tugenensis,
must have whose bones found in Kenya
confirmed hip and upper leg had begun
adapting to walking upright.


Helga Kidder lives in the Tennessee hills. She received a BA from the University of Tennessee and an MFA from Vermont College. Her poems have appeared in Snake Nation Review, Louisville Review, Southern Indiana Review among many others.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

ONE ERA ENDS; ANOTHER CONTINUES

by Russell Libby


Twelve different gas stations along my drive home,
Only one below $4 a gallon, one last day,
And there's a huge snapping turtle,
Head up, mouth open,
Later two box turtles scratching in the roadside sand.
On this last day of cheap gas,
The eons-old biological clock keeps time by the sun.


Russell Libby writes from Three Sisters Farm in Mount Vernon, Maine. His book Balance: A Late Pastoral was published by Blackberry Press in 2007.
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

DUBY@ RE-T@LKS HIS TUFF T@LK

by Bill Costley


Taking back his having said "bring it on”
Dubya retalks his talkin’ for the re-cord:

“That was kind of tough talk, you know,
that sent the wrong signal to people. I learnt
some lessons about expressin’ myself, maybe
in a little more sophisticated manner –

you know, not 'wanted dead or alive,'
that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the
world
it was misinterpreted, & so I learnt from that."


Bill Costley serves on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco chapter of the National Writers Union.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

LAWS OF RELATIVITY

by Gerard Sarnat


Sit
breathe
empty out all gravity.
Pure white light down the center.
Sauna, hot tub, fur family forest home.
Organic blueberry granola skimmed milk breakfast.
..Oh my god what to choose among Hindu Varanasi on
the holiest Ganges or Bodhgaya where the Buddha was
enlightened under the Bodhi Tree or my namesake Sarnath
where he gave his first sermon in the Deer Park; I always
wanted to be in the Himalayas' low stress zone, Dharamsala
with the Dalai Lama's exiled refugees - a quick trip up north?

Down to cold rainy asphalt homeless center parking lot corner
where hypertensive diabetic tobacco-hacking single men stand
around under high pressures of real life's mixed blessings.
Yesterday okay (sort of), today not so much, on the edge.
Day old discarded trans-fatty charity baked goods.
Rats gather amid psychotropic noncompliance.
Two doctors' appointments blown:
-- got rolled late last night
now catch as catch can
everything's stolen
one ankle broken
bum two smokes
dentures lost
police fight
meds gone
drenched
stoned
alone

until
a uniformed SamTrans lady
came over to guide the blind man
with cane in red Stanford hat and jacket
and blackout sun glasses to the train held
it seems for him -- yes, held just for him!
While he slowly crosses the drizzly tracks darkly
she whispers, "Don't worry, Sir, don't feel no pressure."


Gerard Sarnat splits time between his San Francisco Bay Area forest home and Southern California's beaches. He is a seeker and Jewbu, married forty years/father of three/grandfather, physician to the disenfranchised, past CEO and Stanford professor, and virginal poet at the tender age of sixty-two. Gerry has recently been published or is forthcoming in Aha!Poetry, AscentAspirations, Atavar, AutumnLeaves, BathysphericReview, Bird&Moon, BlackZinnias, BlueJewYorker, ChicagoPoetry, CRITJournal, Defenestration, Etude, EZAAPP, Flutter, FurnaceReview, HissQuarterly, Jack, Juked, LanguageandCulture, LoudPoet, MyFavoriteBullet, NewWorksReview, Nthposition, OrigamiCondom, PensonFire, PoetsAgainstWar, Rambler, RiverWalkJournal, SlowTrains, SoMa, Spindle, StonetableReview, SubtleTea, SugarMule, ThePotomac, ThievesJargon, UndergroundVoices, UnlikelyStories, and WildernessHouseReview among others. Just Like the Jones', about his experience caring for Jonestown survivors, was solicited by JonestownAnnual Report and will appear later this year. He is currently working on an epic prose poem, The Homeless Chronicles. The California Institute of Arts and Letters' Pessoa Press will publish his first book. Gerry is a member of Poets and Writers, qualifying in both Creative Nonfiction and Poetry.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FOREIGNERS

by David Chorlton


Where are you from? You always have to ask.
It hurts not to know. The accent won’t let you rest.
Anyone can tell a foreigner by listening. The other country
is buried in every word. You can ask in a tentative voice
pretending to be curious as if it really doesn’t matter
you’d just like to know. Or you can emphasise the you
to be offensive because you’re not a foreigner. You’re home.
You belong. Do you like it here? You ask that too.
You only want one answer and if you get another
you’re upset. You’re insulted. How insulted
depends on the degree of foreignness. Some foreigners
look like you. They come in small groups. Singles.
Married couples. Others come in multiples. They insist
on shipping in their culture and unloading it
in neighbourhoods that look as if they’d seceded.
When you say foreigners these are the ones you mean
because the others are invisible. One foreigner doesn’t disturb you. One alone doesn’t take a lot of space. A country of one
can be easily invaded. You’ve invaded foreigners. Bombed them.
You know which side you’re on. But you don’t always know
which side foreigners are on. Maybe
they don’t have a side. Is neutral a nationality? Is it immoral?
Can they be arrested for taking no side but their own? You stop asking the foreigners who look like each other where they’re from
because you feel alone when you’re around them. You feel
like a foreigner. You need the company of someone
who speaks with the same accent as you do. Someone of your
culture. Someone who understands you. The mirror image
of your soul. Or you’d settle for anyone who asks you where
you’re from so you could say you’re from here you believe
in God you don’t want to stop torturing foreigners you
just don’t want to talk about it your family has roots here
like crabgrass your ancestors won this country they
were foreigners then nobody thought to ask them
where they came from.


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 www.davidchorlton.mysite.com.
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Monday, June 09, 2008

CAN'T STOP THE RAIN

Burma, June 2008


by Barbara A. Taylor


in paddy fields
the splintered hulls
of capsized boats

floating bodies
in the debris

one cup of rice
and rainwater
keeps them alive

manna from abroad
sacks of grains, wheat, corn
guarded in vaults

in famine and flood
the right to eat

can’t stop the rain--
from selfish soldiers
a diet of frogs


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 http://batsword.tripod.com/.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

DID I EVER TELL YOU WHAT I -- NOT MY FATHER, BUT I -- DID IN THE WAR?

by Steve Hellyard Swartz


I loved my father
The warrior
I loved my father, the sailor, the aviator
I loved that my father was big and strong, my
Father
Who had been to war
My father who never saw the arrow
Shot from my bow
Never saw it coming
Until it hit him in the back
My father who laid on the floor
The arrow in his hands, the arrow now somehow, magically, piercing his front
My father who cried when I came out from behind my painted tree
My father who cried: You got me!
You got me good
As he tickled me and kissed me and messed up my hair
Later
Much later
When we fought about Vietnam
And I no longer would accompany him to stand on Central Avenue to watch the marchers in the Veterans’ Day Parade
With their little capes and smaller waves
When I stood in the bar
And saw him out there, singing God Bless America
With his hand over his heart
And said to my friend John
My father’s as bad as Westmoreland, Johnson, all of them
With blood on their hands
Later
Much later that day
When my father and I fought at the kitchen table
And I muttered under my breath that he was a bastard
He brought out the arrow
The one that I’d long since forgotten
The one that he’d held against his heart
The one that had laid him out on the floor
When I was probably no more than four
The one that he laid on the table
Which is now in my heart
Sharp as the kiss
From his lips
Before he walked out the door


Steve Hellyard Swartz's poetry has appeared in New Verse News, Best Poem, The Kennesaw Review, and Haggard and Halloo. He has won Honorable Mention in The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards and The Mary C. Mohr Poetry Awards. In 2008, his poetry will appear in The Paterson Review and The Southern Indiana Review. In 1990, his film "Never Leave Nevada", opened in Dramatic Competition in the U.S. Sundance Film Festival.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

CALL IT WHAT YOU LIKE

by Becky Harblin


Steps away from mud,
always it is close,
we have never traveled far
from our birthing ooze.
As bees, and bats, and comets crash
into the seen and unseen wires,
we wrestle with the tombs
of words and deeds,
and a few of us reach out
amongst the weeds and rubble
into the havoc of the everyday,
looking for the everyman
from China to Baghdad.
But mostly we cough,
and spit, and sit
in our castles carved
from other’s bones.


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.

Friday, June 06, 2008

BRANDING

by Jamie Wong


Can't tell the difference
between the peace symbol
and the hood ornament of a Mercedes anymore,
unless I really focus

Monet's Waterlilies
float for free
on handbags and mugs
all over the city

T.S. Eliot's Burnt out ends of smoky days
was poetry,
until a woman
dressed up as a cat
screeched it in a song about her Memories

For flocks of girls
God's sky is a shade
of Tiffany blue,
Eternity an asset
of Calvin Klein

Even our soldiers' flag-draped coffins,
glowing in the fluorescent light
of an air hangar,
begin to look like Pepsi cans
in the refrigerator
of a 7-11
at night


Jamie Wong, a 2008 PEN Fellow in poetry, currently studies with Donna Hilbert.
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Thursday, June 05, 2008

AT THE EDGE OF HISTORY

by Howie Good


I am not really here nor
will I be,

but nonetheless

a bum arrives out of
the thin rain

pushing a shopping cart
jammed with abandoned treasures,

old newspapers, false idols,
the pale, upturned faces of empties,

and when I lay down
in the afternoon,

suffering from an unspecified
heartache,

I can feel through the floor
of all fifty states

the sobbing of an orphan engine.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of four poetry chapbooks, Death of the Frog Prince (2004) and Heartland (2007) from FootHills Publishing, Strangers & Angels (2007) from Scintillating Publications, and the forthcoming The News at 11 from Right Hand Pointing.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

UNI-T42

PoeArtry by Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote


Barack to the Future imperfect
     Tense burrowing through loose earthworm
          Infested soil dirt thrown up
               Mined molehills aerating fresh breath

Hillary running around in tandem
     Nonstop drive bloodlet veins bypass
          Rosy flushed seconding windswept change
               Halo glow diminishing invincible aura

Dreamscape ticket McCain in buttinshi
     VIPers spewing forked tongue venom
          Malice in DCeption slithering sidewinders
               Rattlesnakes shedding tarnished glisten scales


The dynamic duo of always toptimistic upstARTs, Charles Frederickson & Saknarin Chinayote edit AvantGardeTimes.com, an eclectic cosmopolitan poeartry quarterly EZine. Check out Dr. Chazz’s No Holds Bard website: PoetryArtCombo.com, and Saknarin’s new Glad Thaidings exhibition: http://www.poeartrygallery.th.gs/.
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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

THE WAITING

by Dale Goodson


this can’t be good
can it

cars sitting dumb as cows
drivers fretting over gauges
the sun beating down
the wind racing
the fellas in D.C. clutching at their office keys
digging in
and calling for more
mud
to fortify the walls

isn’t that a bad thing
isn’t that wrong

this waiting

aren’t the cliffs crumbling
the birds leaving
isn’t it time to burden America
with the future
shouldn’t there be a riot
or at least an angry mob

what about spontaneous combustion
would that do it
would that be a reason for sweeping and effective change

seems like it should be
seems like that would be a good reason to put it in gear
hop the divider
-go from red to green
on the bastards

George Romero would


Dale Goodson is a writer from Seattle currently living in New York City.
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Monday, June 02, 2008

THE FALL

by Alan Catlin


Reading Camus
in pretrial jury

selection room/
court

the book about
a man with no

moral center
no values

changing his
story depending

upon the witnesses
this judge/penitent

unredeemable as
the guilty & the dead

our case: murder
one


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.
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Sunday, June 01, 2008

THE ROAD KILL CLICHÉ

by Daniel Wilcox


Zoning through the silent darkness
Up highway 101
In the misty fog of holy day night--
Thunk!

A brown-doe-jumped impact,
Four-hoofed collision
On my hood to the left and over,
So I jerk my Sienna to the right
Shaken by the unexpected encounter,
Wondering whether I dare pull
To the far-side shoulder,
Worried for the helpless deer
But cognizant too of traffic on my tail,
The all too humans ever arear.

Speak of the common place,
The normal and often,
The accidental roadkill cliché
Of carcassed any death flesh,

But still visioning her broken body
A vivid image like a sacred ornament
Out in front of our endless road rage
For our human—no accidental--
Slaughter of innocent bystanders
In the unspeakable millions,
(Speak of the devil!)
Always for God and Country
And oh so good and kin
Of human blood and bone,

'Injust' another and another corpse
To heave onto the refuse
Re-hearsed wagon of centuries,
Every physical's eventual fate
On CNN at six before seven;
Incomplete numbers of
The premature endless burials
Far from Heaven;
Please yell against
This other place.


Daniel Wilcox earned his B.A. in Creative Writing from Cal State University, Long Beach. He is a 'see' rover--former activist, teacher, and wanderer--from Montana to the Middle East, leaving a vapor trail of poetic debris. His writing has appeared in various journals including The Centrifugal Eye, The Recusant, The November 3rd Club, Tipton Poetry Journal and Erbacce. A short story based on his time in the Middle East was published in the September 2007 issue of The Danforth Review. Currently, Daniel is working on a novel and a poetry collection. He lives on the central coast of California with his mysterious wife and youngest son.
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