Guidelines



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Monday, February 28, 2011

ALPHABET IN ACTION

by David Scott Pointer
 

Each word from
finance, accounting,
economics and
international banks
should go under
the world’s wallet
magnifier—It’s
time to dig in
like Diderot’s
engraving tools,
ink to organization
for a just globe


David Scott Pointer is a sociologist residing in Murfreesboro, TN. His current poetry chapbook is  Warhammer Piano Bar. He has two forthcoming poetry collections from Propaganda Press in Palo Alto, CA and Medulla Publishing in Knoxville, TN. In 2010. David has been nominated for 3 Pushcart Prizes.
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ZENGA ZENGA SONG

Remix by Noy Alooshe

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

OUR DELICATE BALANCE

by Anne Davies


Egypt’s triumph, to great acclaim,
Has set the Middle East aflame
Yemenis are in the streets protesting
Police are in the streets arresting.

Libyans want Qadaffi’s head,,
Better circuses, more bread
Tiny Bahrain’s caught the virus
Thanks to Facebook, not papyrus

The spark has reached chill Belarus
But KGB says nyet to truce
Anarchists can chew their nails
In sturdy Stalin-era jails.

Who knew the Egyptians could do it
We’re not quite sure how to construe it.
In theory we promote democracy
While we do business with autocracy.

If new regimes manage to flower
That may affect the balance of power
Though moral questions itch and chafe
Unsavory allies keep us safe.


Anne Davies is a fund-raising writer by profession and a writer and versifier by avocation. Her work has been published in local and regional papers. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

SHOVELING

by Linda Lerner


          1.
they  clutch huge shovels walking down
I’d say  my block  but it is theirs,
men who decades ago moved into this country
not its language, staked down their Italian souls
overwriting deeds to their property
with herbs, enormous sunflowers
every variety of bloom
...no space left  they keep planting

people pass admiring . . . can I have . . .
a smile, a nod gives permission
to pull up a bunch of thyme or rosemary
this garden that corners Court & Carroll streets
                    Brooklyn 
outside their clubroom  this block over which
the bandiera d’Italia  flies freely from rooftops
what’s left of their neighborhood before
I and those like me came

        2
they walk three abreast  small dark clothed
fluttering of wives seen now & then . . .
only one nods, tips his hat slightly  when I pass . . .
the men keep walking  determined

the snow keeps falling
layers of ice coat the tops of hedges
the walkways  men’s souls;
Egypt floats off  peoples’ tongues as they pass
the  men look at each other   understand
what lies outside language

what my Russian-born father would have
understood   why they  crack down so hard
on the ice   fly the old country's flag from their homes
keep shoveling  securing what’s theirs
by deed  by work  by what cannot be tallied,
men who live in the language of each others' countries
    Italy   Russia   Egypt
same war  fought  same victory to be won


Linda Lerner's Something is Burning In Brooklyn was published by Iniquity Press in 2009. Her next collection will be published by New York Quarterly Press.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

I WONDER AT THE MEN

by Jenny Rossi


I wonder at the men who own my ovaries.

How they treat the glistening
redness of my complicated machinery.

Are their wives jealous? So few owning so
many rubies of the flesh!

But these women have lain silent so long
one wonders if their mouths have been stolen

along with their red worth. If choice was tucked away
beneath our skin, it would crack and run down like
rain to be shaken off.


Jenny Rossi’s work is upcoming in Strange Horizons and has appeared in various small publications.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

LIBYAN MEMORY; LIBYAN NIGHTMARE

by Sweta Srivastava Vikram


I haven’t seen it in fifteen years.
The last time I was there,
the air was warm, the sky smiled.
I was buried
under skinny days and teenage crushes.

The land where I learnt
to play ping pong,
chop the ball to win the game,
knocks dead limbs like soccer ball,
keeps scores of defiant voices.

The Mediterranean Sea,
pristine like a sheet of silk,
swallowed my adolescent angst,
is bleeding tears today,
waves let out shrills.

The bakery
from across my home
where my brother went,
every summer morning to fetch khubz,
smells of putrefied promises.

When I am asked
what have you lost?
I whisper: you won’t understand
my childhood home is filled with blood,
nightmares replace memories.

I watch with sand in my eyes,
my lips—dry from praying.
I fear the stories yet to unfold.
I mourn the dunes of bodies
acting as markers for the future.


Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a Pushcart nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, blogger, wife, yoga-devotee, dancer, and oenophile whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a fiction novel (upcoming in April 2011), and several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications. A graduate of Columbia University, she lives and writes in New York City. She is seen at poetry readings across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Sweta also teaches creative writing workshops. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook .
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DEMONCRAZY

Poem by Charles Frederickson; Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote

 
Wrapping flags around military unintelligence
Bankrupt ethics inequality sinking dictatorships
Egregious income disparity tribal divides
Loose water-cannon tear gas cry-sis

Misguided NATO air-strikes ignoble conquests
UNsmart bombs killing innocent civilians
Grief-stricken mourners seeking hidden resolve
Allahu Akar reciting unanswered prayers

US coerced into veto vote
Defying almost Unified moral majority
Illegal settlements Muslim world concerns
Palestinian homeland bullets vs. ballots measures

(D)anger intensifying guttural voices stifled
Iranian mercenary hooligan Basijis deployed
Fat-cat vis-à-vis chat-rat blogosphere endgame
Scapegoats milked spitfire barbeque grilled

Libya wrought iron-fisted fissure crackdown
Algeria standoff pat-riots media censored
Yemen anti-regime crippled student paralysis
Morocco  Djibouti  Syria semi-popular discontent

Bahrain Sunni pitted against Shiite
Venomous Pearl Square secular implosion
Jordan King Abdullah enacting reformation
Comprehensive dialog battling corruption fraud

Kismet prophecy dispel boogeyman fear-mongers
Crude oily motives jangle nerves
Uncorked champagne pops youth bubbles
Genie shrinking back into bottle


Collaborative up-stARTISTS Charles Frederickson and Saknarin Chinayote have created more than a thousand colorful hand-drawn, colorful e-gadfly etchings. Art gallery exhibits can be accessed in the archives of Ascent Aspirations, Listen and Be Heard, New Verse News, Poetry Cemetery and Avant-Garde Times. Published covers and graphics artwork have appeared in Dance to Death, Decanto, Eclipse, Poetry Sz and Taj Mahal Review.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

POLITICAL STORMS

by David Feela


The wind knows more about resistance than
the Tunisian Republic’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali,
Egypt’s Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak,
Lybia’s Moammar Gadhafi,
Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain,
Ali Abdullah Saleh of the Republic of Yemen,
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran,
President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti,
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, and
the entire al-Assad government of Syria.
The wind has been around even longer.
Governor Scott Walker, the weather
in Wisconsin is changing.


David Feela's work has appeared in hundreds of regional and national publications. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas, is now available.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

WE WON’T MELT!

by Bill Costley

"Wisconsin: The First Stop in An American Uprising?" 18 Feb 2011 
-- Sarah van Gelder  |  Yes! Magazine

Fresh Republican govs
expect publicworkers
to willingly melt under
anti-tax propaganda.

We can see thru it! We're
not made of snow! We
won’t melt if blowtorched!
We’re inflammable! Try us!

How’re ya gonna do without
firemen, cops, nurses, teachers?
Run all-volunteer states? You
got to be kidddin’, govs!

You do get paid, don’tcha?
You do get elected, dontcha?


Bill Costley has served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union. He lives in Santa Clara, CA.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

MAGGIE'S FARM 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

BEGAT

by Robert Gibbons


let my people go
prayer protests beyond
the wailing wall
with the skins as olive
as trees in Budrus
Alexandria, Cairo Georgia
Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq
as charcoal as the Mississippi
delta Alabama tan
these metaphors similes
these scriptures stricture
a four hundred year baptism
by King James
one million Egyptians
want part Red Sea
can’t disconnect
the  inner net of humanity


Robert Gibbons is a performance poet living in the New York City area. He has performed at Cornelia Street Cafe, the Saturn Series, and Poets on White. Just recently been published in Uphook Press and also Dinner with the Muse. He can be contacted at robertgibbons54(at)gmail.com .

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

THE NATURE OF THINGS

by Becky Harblin


1.)
The snowplow rolls out
and a tsunami
of snow and sand flows
from the road,
wave after wave,
piling against field’s edge
and farmer’s driveways.
This is wide open land,
and in early spring
a pair of hawks will land
on telephone wires, and
vulnerable turtles will lay eggs
on the other side of the road.

2.)
Today the deer are holed up
under spruce and pine trees,
sheltered against the winds
and blowing snow.
And no matter what
corn or feed I put out,
the weather is the ruler.
But, tomorrow the deer
will separate,
and the surviving low ranking deer
will be ousted. And maybe
they will make it to spring.

3.)
Miles, and countries away
many people, mostly men,
were holed up in Tahrir Park.
Demonstrating with honor
they ousted a dictator.
Now the humorless faces
on television
show high ranking military men
who have the advantage.

4.)
Is it spring yet?


Becky Harblin works as a sculptor and Wellness Arts Practitioner. She lives on a small farm in upstate New York with a few sheep, and an old newfoundland dog. The daily haiku she writes can be found online.  Her poems have been published in various places including New Verse News
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ILLUMINATION

by David Scott Pointer


The private sector
hires the credible
policy pirates for
wage theft-some
wear cuff links or
senatorial columns
in publicity pictures
cutting worker pay,
and positions hoping
certain mass brain’s
black out lamps won’t
come on to organize


David Scott Pointer is a sociologist residing in Murfreesboro, TN. His current poetry chapbook is  Warhammer Piano Bar. He has two forthcoming poetry collections from Propaganda Press in Palo Alto, CA and Medulla Publishing in Knoxville, TN. In 2010. David has been nominated for 3 Pushcart Prizes.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HIJACKED

by Laura Rodley


And how far does the spirit
of the owl fly, its blue tilted
feathers buffeted in flight
heating its tiny owl heart
its legs covered in britches of tawny feathers,
cowboy of the woods
hunting for mice, birds, squirrels
and now the cowboys in Wyoming
are hunting bigger game
hunting coyotes and wolves.
Once gone from the forest,
their shadows flit between trunks of trees
and cowboys fear the wolves even more
because they came back from the dead,
even though they were flown back in helicopters
to pad the snow in silence. 


Laura Rodley’s chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose has been nominated for a PEN New England L.L. Winship Award and a Mass Book Award.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

ALLERGIES OR LOVE-STRUCK?

by Roxanne Hoffman
for Flo Rain who titled this poem

angel              
boy,               
cherubic,        
dimpled,
enters
fingering
glittering
harp
inside
Jane’s
kiss;
lips
maneuver
nimbly;
OUCH!
pinpricked;
quivers           
released         
striking          
target             
under             
Venus's        
wink;
XOX,
you
zigzag...


Roxanne Hoffman worked on Wall Street, now answers a patient hotline for a New York home healthcare provider. Her words can be found on and off the net in such journals as Amaze: The Cinquain Journal, Clockwise Cat, Danse Macabre, The Fib Review, Hospital Drive, Lucid Rhythms, Mobius: The Poetry Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine, and Shaking Like A Mountain; the indie flick Love And The Vampire; and the anthologies The Bandana Republic: A Literary Anthology by Gang Members and their Affiliates (Soft Skull Press), Love After 70 (Wising Up Press), and  It All Changed In An Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure (Harper Perennial). She and her husband own the small press, Poets Wear Prada
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

BUILDING KANYE WEST

by John Paul Davis


Twelve haunts, each the spirit of a Black Panther, skimmed
the 1970s, scooping the sting & sass from a dozen
soul singers' voices but flew too quickly, curdling
the gathered choir until they trilled double-time,
trebled as birdsong. You had to expect God
would be involved. He pinched two ends of Atlanta
together & dropped the wriggling result
onto the sizzling platter of Chicago
massaging the asphalt until it squealed like slamming
brakes. Some say the last breath
of Louis Vuitton was trapped in an absinthe
bottle by Napoleon III as it strained toward the walk-in closets
of heaven.That might be the phosphorent
lime fog swamping behind his sunglasses
or it might be everything an electromagnet
could siphon from the analog synthesizers
bickering like alley cats under Thom Yorke's tongue.
We know for certain one of Will Smith's bicuspids
went missing & someone spotted Loki
in Philly that night with dental pliers. Anger,
so much anger, pacing its cage, wicking
out in tendrils from time-release pills. Restless.
Shatterproof. Saltfire. Clatterbone. Sheet stain. Heat
lightning. Cardboard cutout. Skyrocket
dropout. Elevated castout. Open door. Heartroar.

Downpour. Beyonce's masterpiece gets ignored. Another white
girl takes home the award. Maybe MTV's bartender
had a heavy pour or maybe Yeezy
figured he could afford another scandal,
that he could always fall on his sword but Black music
needed someone to step forward & switch the spotlight
to the racism still driving the music business. It ain't right
-30 years after "Billie Jean" & Blacks are still passed
over or branded crazy when glanced at by the limelight.
Or maybe Kanye wasn't thinking at all that night. Are you less
of a jerk if you're right? Example: did anyone doubt
Ye's insight: George Bush doesn't care about Black people? What the hammer,
what the anvil that forged Kanye with the power to wound
the President's ego? What fire roils in his belly? Someone says
Jehovah bit his tongue battle-rhyming Satan & when he spit verses
his blood & kisswater curdled in the dust & a new son of man
helixed out of the earth. The moment he was conceived
Gil Scott-Heron was sighing into a microphone,
Quincy Jones was conspiring with a scarecrow
to steal back disco from white folks,

nets were stretched in New York's night sky
& every flashpop of a paparazzo's camera
was caught like diamond bats as they flapped spaceward
then wrung out to glitter his sweat. Did Michael
wing a gloved hand over the scene of the accident
steps away from a Hollywood W Hotel triggering
Kanye's broken heart back to spitting fight? Secretly
his mother fed him a diploma in microscopic
flakes mixed in to a childhood of suppers
until his cerebral cortex rattled against bars
like a caged dictionary. He swallowed an engagement
ring & it scourges him from the inside. There is a silent syllable
between breakbeats woven from ribbons of that blood,
spoiling for a fight, brilliant in its arrogance, heavy
as all the gold that still remembers the sweat
from summer days when it used to be lead.


John Paul Davis’s poems have been published in print and online journals such as RATTLE, The Columbia Poetry Review, WordRiot, Apparatus, The Cordite Poetry Review. He was a 2009-2010 writer in residence with Vox Ferus. Currently he is the video curator and projection designer for The Encyclopedia Show in Chicago, a founding member of Real Talk Avenue, a regular contributor to The Paper Machete. He is editor and designer of Bestiary Magazine.
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

A INVITATION FOR POEMS IN RESPONSE TO LINES WRITTEN

BY THE EDITOR OF THE NEW VERSE NEWS 
. . . BUT NOT FOR THE NEW VERSE NEWS.

2011-12 Themes for Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream
James Penha edits The New Verse News.
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Friday, February 11, 2011

FEARING ARREST, BUSH RETREATS

by J. D. Mackenzie

Like Pinochet before him, George W. Bush is vulnerable while traveling overseas and was forced to cancel a speech in Switzerland for fear of arrest.

There’s a box that you check
when you book a room online
right after
      arrival and departure dates
      number of nights
      bed size
      smoking or non-smoking
      pets

Right before you select
      method of payment
it asks
      have you ever committed a war crime?

There’s a pull down menu
for those responding yes
and still more choices
      criminal environmental modification
      suspension of civil liberties
      targeting non-combatants
      extra-judicial executions
      unlawful use of force
      torture

And this was his latest mistake
not learning from Pinochet
whose excuse didn’t include
ignorance of the internets


J. D. Mackenzie is a semi-regular contributor to The New Verse News whose day job as a community college administrator leaves him with insufficient time to write a proper bio.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

EGYPT MARCH IN NYC 02-04-11

haiku by Sweta Srivastava Vikram; photo by Purba Rudra



Thousands colored skin
lit fire to cold with words
snow freezes tyrants.

Sweta Srivastava Vikram is a Pushcart nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, blogger, wife, yoga-devotee, dancer, and oenophile whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a fiction novel (upcoming in April 2011), and several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications. A graduate of Columbia University, she lives and writes in New York City. She is seen at poetry readings across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Sweta also teaches creative writing workshops. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook .
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

MUMMIFIED

by Bill Costley
 

To Hosni Mubarak

Inside the pyramids
there were once many
mummified bodies
certain of immortality.

Some are dust now,
Some, museumified.
29 yrs in office is
mummified enuf.


Bill Costley has served on the Steering Committee of the San Francisco Bay area chapter of the National Writers Union. He lives in Santa Clara, CA.
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

EGYPTIAN HAIKU

by Patricia Carragon


the Nile is bleeding
              wounded doves fall
              wings stained in death

the Nile is bleeding
              fallen doves in the streets
              throats slashed by hate

the Nile is bleeding
              a river rises
              for revolution

the Nile is bleeding
              tears of Isis
              flood a nation


Patricia Carragon is a New York City writer and poet. Her work can be found online and in anthologies.  She hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor of its annual anthology. She is the author of Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press, 2005). Her latest book is Urban Haiku and More (Fierce Grace Press, 2010).  She is a member of Brevitas, a group dedicated to short poems.
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Monday, February 07, 2011

BEFORE AND AFTER

by Terry S. Johnson

    Douz, Tunisia                              

We arrived by bus and walked along
the walled graveyard to the main market,
amazed that an oasis town would have
such a desolate cemetery. We saw graves
marked not by the white carved stones
of more prosperous outposts but by pieces
of brick, small rocks, dead branches, rags.

We had come for an overnight in the desert,
two hours by camel each way. Mohammed
and Islam, our Berber guides, led our group
to the camp. After a dinner of couscous, they
beat homemade drums and sang ancient
songs of weddings, camel races, births.
They taught us to ululate, and we danced
to the stars, howling, then slept under
a thick woven tent open to the cool night.

Next morning, they made a fire from mere
palm fronds, cooked fresh bread in the ashes,
the dough covered with sand. On the way back,
they pointed to their shacks on the outskirts.
Their children must go to school now. So
they eke out a living by teaching us feckless
foreigners to balance on the precarious rumps
of strange animals and to build miraculous fires.

Two months after our trip, the revolution
began. We imagine the huge posters of Ben Ali
scraped off thousands of walls, wonder how
Mohamed and Islam can support their families
in such chaos, wonder how many new bricks
have been gently placed in the cemetery.


Terry S. Johnson has explored careers as a newspaper advertising clerk, a library assistant and a professional harpsichordist before serving as a public school elementary teacher for over twenty-five years.  She recently earned her M.F.A in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and now enjoys a flexible schedule of writing, studying Italian and practicing yoga.  Her work has appeared in The Peregrine, The Berkshire Review and The Women’s Times.
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Saturday, February 05, 2011

NOVUS ORDO SECTORUM

Poem by Charles Frederickson; Graphic by Saknarin Chinayote


Architects reconfiguring Embraved New World
Blueprint sans borders boundaries vanish
Unblinking gaze sameness refocused heavenward
Transcending political ethnic religious differences

Giant jigsaw missing unfit pieces
Pangaeo supercontinent Paleozoic fossils driftage
What lies beneath bipolar icebergs
Plate tectonics moving cosmic lithosphere

Center of gravity shifting from
Atlantic to Pacific dominance threatened
Pinball axis tilt unstable cataclysm
Spinning anticlockwise uncharted directions vortex

Calm before almighty raging storm
Seismic events fault lines drawn
Hate dynamic feeding fearful distrust
Tug of peaceful coexistence frayed

Humanure dignity conflict identity crisis
Celestial eclipse seething bitter resentment
Bellicose violent antagonism unleashing hostility
Demonizing frothy mad dog opponents


Collaborative up-stARTISTS Charles Frederickson and Saknarin Chinayote have created more than a thousand colorful hand-drawn, colorful e-gadfly etchings. Art gallery exhibits can be accessed in the archives of Ascent Aspirations, Listen and Be Heard, New Verse News, Poetry Cemetery and Avant-Garde Times. Published covers and graphics artwork have appeared in Dance to Death, Decanto, Eclipse, Poetry Sz and Taj Mahal Review.
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Friday, February 04, 2011

WAGE YOUR FIST

by Vivek Sharma


Raise your fist, praise your fist,
reclaim your rights, wage your fist.

Families, fingers huddled together,
aching, raging for living better,
with fiery grit, for sweat and kiss,
for love of dreams, stage your fist.

Raise your fist, praise your fist,
for your beloveds, wage your fist.

From every window, in every street,
vow for a vigil till the corrupt perish.
Yes, you can! You must, you will
For a transformed life, stake your fist.

Raise your fist, praise your fist,
for your brothers, wage your fist.

When fear reigns, hope-flowers wither,
orphaned ideas die, love turns bitter,
to reclaim the joys your kids will inherit,
challenge the night, set ablaze your first.

Raise your fist, praise your fist,
for saving humanity, wage your fist.

Song-less we live, unsung we die,
in our spirit only remorse is high,
abandon the shores of what if, only if,
for anthems of hope, uncage your fist.

Raise your fist, praise your fist,
for the reign of benign, wage your fist.

Tyrants, down, down, out, out,
junta has woken, your time is out,

accept no excuses, lies or promise,
assert your liberty, salvage your fist.

Raise your fist, praise your fist,
Triumph over tyranny, wage your fist.

The way is within, all answers are within,
against your own failings rage your fist,
there is no reward, if there is no act,
for change & progress, engage your fist.

Raise your fist, uncage your fist,
For reform, rebirth, wage your fist!


Vivek Sharma writing in English is published or forthcoming in Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, Mythium, Bateau, and in a book of poems The Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper (Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 2009). Vivek contributes articles and verses in Hindi to Divya Himachal and Himachal Mitra. He is a Pushcart nominated poet, is also published as a scientist and is currently a post-doctoral research associate in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. 
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Thursday, February 03, 2011

WORLD WAR II

by Becky Harblin


My great-grandfather,
the man who rescued
his nearly orphaned grandsons,
was waiting to die with cancer.
And my father hot on a runway
in Egypt hoping his grandfather
would live one more year
until,
just until

World War II

was over.


The waiting and the living
didn’t happen in good order.
My father’s brothers,
one shell shocked,
one purple heart-awarded,
all far away
in the heat and burning
when their beloved
patriarch died.

How is it...
how is it I ask of you,
and yours,
can we endure this war
and that war,

and the ones that will come again?


Becky Harblin works as a sculptor and Wellness Arts Practitioner. She lives on a small farm in upstate New York with a few sheep, and an old newfoundland dog. The daily haiku she writes can be found on  Her poems have been published in various places including New Verse News.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

NUMBER SEVEN

by J. Bradley


The more you win, the more
your nation blames the concussions
for torn dresses, bruises.

Torn dresses, bruises,
your nation tears them into confetti.
You drink it all in.

You drink it all in,
your knee and face on the turf.
Does it look just like them?

Does it look just like them?
How did you wash away
the lipstick divots?

Your nation blames the concussions.
Your nation tears them into confetti.
Your face on the turf, how did you
wash everything away?


J. Bradley is the author of Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009) and of The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You is a Robot (Safety Third Enterprises, 2010).  He is the Interviews Editor of PANK Magazine.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

CONTEMPLATING THE HOLY BABBLE

by Ngoma


she claimed
we were facing the end of the world
so she was having her impregnated eggs frozen
later there would be grandscicles
besides being a christian
abortion would be against
the holy babble
her soul hadn't written
reproduction in the contract
nor could she remember the clause
about being present for armageddon
egypt,tunisia and cote d'ivoire were exploding
as she wondered if the winds of change
might blow west and ignite a spark
the belly of this beast
surely needs a change
vomiting petrol into the ocean
paranoid that the troops may learn
their lives are being sacrificed
for opium and oil
or that terrorism is a figment of the
emperors imagination
the real terror
is at home shooting kids
and government officials
war is profitable

the canon of academia
trades degrees for souls
selling incoherent babble
with outstanding student loans
while the planet is starving
for food with seeds
the right to grow food
is being seized
virtual matrix from fingertips
on keys
human connections
being missed
breast milk stolen
babies nutritionally deficit
trying to grow trees
in barren soil

seems like the emperor
has no clothes
soon we will see
if he has a soul


Ngoma is a performance poet, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and paradigm shifter, who for over 40 years has used culture as a tool to raise sociopolitical and spiritual consciousness through work that encourages critical thought.Poetry  published in African Voices Magazine, Long Shot Anthology, The Underwood Review, Signifyin' Harlem Review and 'bum Rush The Page/Def Poetry Jam Anthology& Poems On The Road To Peace and Let Loose On the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75. He was featured in the PBS Spoken Word Documentary, "The Apro-Poets" with Allen Ginsberg. Ngoma has hosted the slam at the Dr. Martin Luther King Festival of Social and Environmental Justice at Yale University for the past 14 years.  His latest C.D. State of Emergency: The Essential Ngoma is a 2 Disc "best of" compilation available on CDBaby.com and iTunes.
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