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Monday, June 30, 2014
I always called them yard cats,
Their numbers increased
after the fire at Randy’s—
The self-imagined puma
who lives in my house
never goes outside
but outside belongs to her,
and she wants them off
tail switching back and forth
with great agitation until
she turns her back to erase
The calico one, the black one,
the tabbies, orange and gray,
the one with half a tail,
I watch them move through
looking up, maybe to see me
at my window
and my knee-jerk reaction is
to give them the food
my own won’t eat
But I’ve been sagely warned—
Don’t do it.
Don’t feed them,
If you feed them,
they will never leave.
Marietta Calvanico lives in Staten Island, NY. After spending a bit more than two decades in advertising/marketing, she now works with her architect husband and has been able to devote more time to writing and music. Her poetry has appeared in The Bare Root Review, the damselfly press, Poem2day, Word Salad Poetry Magazine, River Poets, The Driftwood Review, and OccuPoetry; her short fiction in Joyful; and her non-fiction in Still Crazy and Avalon Literary Review.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
We who are under surveillance
in more ways than we know
tonight notice the stealthy moon
as it slips behind the trees.
Hiding is useless. That moon
could be an eye. In these woods our whispers
might be seized by murmurous leaves.
Only handwritten notes are safe
if burned or swallowed after they are read.
One is not paranoid
if one is really being followed.
Phyllis Wax muses on the news and politics from a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI. She's been widely published, recently in The Widows' Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival from Kent State University Press. When she's not writing you might find her escorting at a local women's clinic.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
|"After hacking into the Islamic Jihadist Magazine 'Inspire' British intelligence agents changed the direction for making a home made bomb to a recipe for making cupcakes" --Huff Post Food, June 3, 2014|
Cup-cakes raining over the infidels.
Four star chefs planning counter attacks
involving whole pies with whipped cream
High fat bombs clogging arteries
victims covered in pink and blue icing.
Sniffing dogs hunting down the muffin makers
flower and egg prices rising
like yeast in underground bakeries.
Candy-land on high alert
men carrying gum-ball machines
in this sweetest of wars.
Johanna Evenson is a professional musician as well as a professional cognitive therapist living and working in Charleston, SC where she is a member of the Long Table Poets. Her work has appeared in Cactus Heart and The Milo Review.
Friday, June 27, 2014
|“The rainfall numbers are staggering. But the bigger picture scope and human perspective on the summer flood of 2014 is even more gripping.” --Minnesota Public Radio, June 25, 2014. Image source: CBS|
The exhaust from a car can kill you.
I saw a giddy fly knocked for
a loop the other day when it
got too close to a tail pipe,
Just dropped to the ground
like a stone and didn't
And I thought flies were
supposed to be tough
don't they like to eat
can’t they lift
a hundred times their weight?
Those carbon emissions
must really be toxic
good thing that most of it
just floats up into the air.
But I did see some
of the world’s glaciers
and a lot of our sea ice
melting as temps rise,
and the weather seems
really strange as of late---
with all those tornados, grapefruit
hail, 100-year floods and all.
Heard that the penguins in
Antarctica aren't breeding as much,
that more snow and rain
are getting other animals
to move from their homes,
and that more insects on
the earth are getting those
spruce trees all chewed up.
And look what’s coming:
sea levels rising---watch out
beach homes---stronger hurricanes
and storms, more floods and
drought, some diseases will
spread, ecosystems will disappear---
But what really caught my eye
yesterday was the dejected look
on the sun's frowning face
when someone mentioned global warming.
It reminded me of the proud
American Indian on his horse
in that commercial from a while back---
he was weeping and looking
at our trash blowing around,
remembering his world as it used to be.
Gil Hoy received a B.A in Philosophy from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Gil also is an elected member of the Brookline, MA Democratic Town Committee, and served as a Brookline Selectman for 12 years. Gil studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. His poems have since been published in Soul Fountain, The New Verse News, The Story Teller Magazine, and Eye On Life Magazine. Gil is married, with three children, and lives in Brookline, MA.
The USA has the most,
And that is good
Because we're for freedom and motherhood.
Our allies have them too,
And that's all right
Because they'll join us in a fight.
They're called UAVs, unmanned
Aerial vehicles, and you
Must get to know them:
Hunter and Reaper,
Predator and Gnat,
For our security they'll go to bat.
Eleven countries have them today,
But that's not the way
It's going to stay.
"Every country will have armed drones
Within ten years," oh my.
But that's no cause to worry.
They'll only be used for "targeted
Killings, terrorism and government
Suppression of civil unrest."
So good night, baby,
Sleep tight and don't fret,
Drones will be watching over you.
George Salamon lives and writes in St. Louis, MO and contributes to Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and The New Verse News.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
|WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killings using armed drones risks putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war and sets a dangerous precedent for lethal operations that other countries might adopt in the future, according to a report by a bipartisan panel that includes several former senior intelligence and military officials. --NY Times, June 26, 2014|
Evil is statistical: a long-range game of mind:
Programming the data: it's merely a matter
Of parallel logistics: a mythic country
Ground in the joint jaws of an identical cancer.
Look at the map: it's a lesson in dissolution.
It could go on forever if we're careful,
Diverting blood and the precise amount of terror:
The only treason: reason: quelling the confusion.
It's a matter of girding them: a bright meat grinder:
Of obfuscating all the nasty boring facts:
Those muddy faces fleeing towards you from vague fire,
Carrying their homes and the maimed on their backs.
Richard O'Connell lives in Deerfield Beach, Florida. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure. National Review, The Texas Review, Acumen, The Paris Review, The Formalist,. His most recent collections are Dawn Crossing and Waiting for the Terrorists.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A barking stray
trying to bite the whirling wind
gusts that blow loose
out of those locked
newspaper machines they rattle open
across the street
then paste up
against the locked windows and doors
of our locked house
like so many rain-soaked shutters
made from the world’s
the latest black-and-white bad news
we would rather ignore
in our faces
demanding we must pay
for what we’ve seen
— that dog
with its hot breath
likewise tells us
more about ourselves
than any of us knew before.
Brian Beatty's jokes, poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and digital publications.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
|RICHMOND, Va. – Three Virginia lawmakers have formed the “Redskins Pride Caucus” in an effort to help Washington Redskins keep the nickname some people deem offensive. --CBS6, June 23, 2014|
They gave my team a trademark on its name,
But now they say they’re snatching it away.
Political correctness is their game,
And Injun giving is the way they play.
I want my team to sound badass and scary,
Like warpath savages with tomahawks.
I want every opponent trembling, wary,
Fearful of brutal tackles, sacks, and blocks.
Since “Redskin” is a byword for ferocity
(I’ve seen the Westerns, so I know the score),
To change the team name would be an atrocity.
In fact, I am convinced there should be more
Franchises getting ethnic in your face --
Spearchuckers, Wetbacks, Spades, Bogtrotters, Chinks.
There’s big-time juju in names based on race.
Who cares what some Cochise or Tonto thinks?
Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor. His poems have appeared in Literary Review, Per Contra, Shot Glass, the Spectator, and the Washington Post, among other print and online journals, and in the anthologies The Best of the Barefoot Muse and 20 Years at the Cantab Lounge.
|Mexico Finds Itself Knee-Deep in Victory -- NY Times, June 23, 2014|
The ball touches his fingertips
ricochets left of the goal.
The ball against his body
for another save, and in the 69th minute
he saves again with the upper part
of his left thigh.
“There are nights” he says
“when the ball seems to hit you even
If you close your eyes.”
Mexico’s Coach Miguel Herrera
chose at the last minute to go with the calm
of goalie Guillermo Ochoa.
The ball is in his hands,
his calm and saving hands.
Margaret Rozga has published two books: Two Hundred Nights and One Day and Though I Haven’t Been to Baghdad. Her new book Justice Freedom Herbs is scheduled for January 2015 publication.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
|Fog leads to cancellation of Milwaukee lakefront air show Saturday --Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, June 21, 2014|
If only it were that easy
to stop a real bombing raid
mothers all over the world
would pray for bad weather
to spare their homes
But here on Milwaukee’s lakefront
the spectacle is rescheduled for tomorrow.
This roaring assault on eardrums
and sensibilities is nothing
compared to the price paid by others
for the live ammo show
rain or shine.
Here, parents bring the kids
eat ice cream.
Ed Werstein, Milwaukee, Wisconsin spent 22 years in manufacturing and union activity before his muse awoke and dragged herself out of bed. He advocates for peace and against corporate power. A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, his poetry has appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Blue Collar Review, Mobius: Journal of Social Change, Stoneboat. His first chapbook Who Are We Then? was published in 2013 by Partisan Press.
Saturday, June 21, 2014
|Image source: http://www.angelfire.com/va2/worldwar2family/eddie2.html|
My Father was a War Hero
In his own way;
He came home.
Never spoke of War;
But, I could see it in his face
In the way he smoked a cigarette
And stared across the Pacific;
On stormy days.
I heard they dragged him drafted from the docks
Where he welded blasted battleships
In antiquated scuba gear because he never feared the sea.
My Father was a War Hero
In his own way.
Dropped on Main Street.
Ordered to guard
Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshima; spies
The old Nippon couple
My father knew as a child.
All the bad fishing seasons
To broken fisherman.
Never took a penny
At attention next to the door of Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshima
They were gone.
Then he turned and knocked
Shoved his rifle thru the door
He said and walked away;
My Uncle Eddy told me
Rip the jacket from his chest and throw it in the bay.
My father was a War Hero
In his own way.
Friday, June 20, 2014
stored in the soul
of a people
to be relevant
to more than the
a time when we
thought it good
to strike out
in anger and fear
and the hubris
of the tears
of tragic death
scarred us as
a nation and the
wound has turned
in on itself on
ourselves and we pick
at the scab of the
the children laying dead
come a reckoning
our histories scream
our mutual doom
History is not a script
it is a cautionary tale
which doesn't end well
for the protagonists
David M. Myles is a Freelance Technophile and writer currently living in the Ohio Valley. Originally from New York City, Myles has lived all over the United States and the UK gathering experiences and fixing errant computers and networks His new e-book Folly is available on Kindle or Amazon.com.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
|(CNN) -- A double murderer was executed in Florida Wednesday night, becoming the third man put to death in an American prison during a 24-hour period. All three died by lethal injection.|
A gurney stands still on its wheels
beneath a square of light intense enough
to reveal a human soul.
The floor is polished so clean
it floats from wall
to unblemished wall.
There’s a pillow,
freshly cleaned, and straps
no grief could ever break
to contain the spasms
when the clock shows time
coming to an end.
A neatly-typed protocol
describes every step
from cooking the final meal
to escorting witnesses away,
but has nothing to say for an instance
of the cocktail’s failure,
as if it had been written for a firing squad
and could not describe a dead man
spitting bullets out.
David Chorlton came to Arizona in 1978 after living in England and Austria. He has spent more than three decades stretched between cultures and writing poetry, the pick of which has just appeared as his Selected Poems, from FutureCycle Press.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Lionel Messi runs, legs leading,
dances the ball down the field
hops over other players’ feet,
perfect kick makes a goooooal!
Lanky bodies in yellow sneakers
leap into air almost in flight
trying to head the ball, the Spanish
announcer shouts y la cabeza!
These lovely young men with
their lovely bodies remind me
of the young woman I was
my body lithe and strong
I leapt after my children
climbed hills with them
and rolled down together
barely thinking of the future
only hoping to get them there
to help them discover their dreams
dance like Messi towards their goals.
Lori Desrosiers’ first book of poems, The Philosopher’s Daughter is from Salmon Poetry. A second book is due out in 2016. Her poems have appeared in New Millenium Review, Contemporary American Voices, BigCityLit, Concise Delights, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene's Fountain, The New Verse News, The Mom Egg and many more. She publishes Naugatuck River Review, a journal of narrative poetry.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
mark the number
of days of falling
only slippery ones
to me! Gotcha!
radar, red herrings
falling still past
want to be spent—
hold onto that longing—
taunt with ropes,
much further down.
Anne Graue writes poetry and teaches online from her home in New York's Hudson Valley. Her poems have appeared in Compass Rose, Sixfold Journal, VerseWrights, and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly. She is a reviewer for NewPages.com.
Monday, June 16, 2014
|Pamela Langford, who took this photo, wrote to The City Birder blog on the subject of Brooklyn Botanic Garden hawks on April 22, 2014: “The BBG red-tailed hawk pair appears to be nesting in the Japanese garden. Today my friend Jan Kraus and I spotted a hawk flying into a pine tree near the entrance to the Japanese garden (by the cherry esplanade). It's not easy to see, but after watching a while we saw a hawk in the nest, and later there was a swap when a second hawk arrived and the hawk on the nest flew away. No way to know how far along things are, but the pair appears to be attending either eggs or youngsters. . . . In any case, I am hoping for another delightful summer with fledglings in the botanic garden.”|
BROOKLYN - Some Brooklyn residents are concerned to go outdoors after a red-tailed hawk attacked a woman. Tahjah Coleman says she was on her Bedford-Stuyvesant terrace when the bird grabbed her head from behind. News12Brooklyn, May 26, 2014
Sunday, June 15, 2014
|Refugees flee the city of Mosul. The delicately balanced relations among the many communities were permanently shattered in 2003. Photograph: Str/AP. The Guardian, June 13, 2014.|
Take it back, we left it,
We will not summon the troops
To fight again for it,
We will not countenance
Another long drawn out
Battle on your homeland,
The corpses, gutted and bloodied,
Strewn, like trash, on the ground.
Mosul is Assyrian, Kurd, Iraqi,
Turkmen, Shabak, Shi’ite, Sunni,
And the oil refinery earns more
Per hour than the marketplaces
For fruits of paradise, leather toolers,
Carpet merchants’ stalls
And sheep-herders’ pens
Combined do per year.
Mosul, you fell in 2003
And now ISIS (not
The Egyptian goddess
of magic and life),
initiates in the sacred order
of hatred and arch violence,
Have achieved the latest fall
Of Cheney and Bush,
Who on 3 May 2003
Declared from ship’s deck
“The Battle of Iraq is over,”
But that mission will never
Be accomplished despite
4,447 American dead,
32,000 wounded plus
Thousands with PTSD
And other extreme debilitations;
Plus one trillion dollars
(Think what this sum could mean
For schools, bridges, healthcare).
Now 68% of Americans
Polled feel no obligation
No noblesse, no oblige;
No ligature (the “lig”
In “obligation”) tying us
To this desolated land.
Mosul, Baiji, Samarra—
All fall on the road to Baghdad.
(Where are Crosby and Hope
When we really need them?)
Where can we find any hope
In stopping the ISIS advance?
Will the fall of Mosul end
In the union of Syria and Iraq,
A wide swath from the Med
To Iran, the destabilization
Of the Middle East, a threat
To Turkey and Israel?
Where are the leaders
Who can reverse America’s
Knee-jerk reliance on military
Solutions to geopolitical problems?
Is the fall of Mosul a milestone
On the road to the fall
Of (God bless) the
United States of America?
George Held, a regular contributor to The New Verse News, has a new book out soon from Poets Wear Prada, Culling: New & Selected Nature Poems.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
|Joshua Mitchell wore the soccer jersey of younger brother Emilio Hoffman during graduation who was shot and killed by fellow student Jared Michael Padgett, 15, just two days ago in the school locker room in Troutdale. Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian, June 12, 2014|
There was smoke, a girl crouching in a locker room
saw smoke, smelled it, heard the rattle of shells
and ammo in a flack jacket filled with fumbling fingers
looking to reload.
There was smoke in the mind of the boy
who carried the guns from home.
The deadly smoke of anger,
a soul burning
done to him
he’d do unto others.
He died in his poison smoke,
our confusion of fog
hanging in the trees
the morning of graduation
like a death sentence.
Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet -- who taught high school English for eight years not far from Reynolds High School.
Friday, June 13, 2014
- by Buff Whitman-Bradley
|"Woman With Child & Calla Lilies" (oil) 24" by 30" by Renee Thompson.|
- Brooding about famine and endless war
- Environmental catastrophe and economic collapse
- I notice a young pregnant woman
- Her head held high
- Striding up the block like the whole brass band
- Following her big beautiful drum majorette of a belly
- Toward a future that I hope will be there
- To embrace her child
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Country around rotating spherical globe
Defeatist loser mentality thinking squad
Shoulda coulda woulda might’ve didn’t
Team sport sense of togetherness
Combining experience balanced with youth
Requiring gritty perseverance sacrifice dedication
Practice practice more committed practice
It’s not the will to
Win but willful positive mindset
Being ever-prepared to win finding
Different insights to achieve goals
Best teams often are eliminated
Not believing they can hard
Enough regretfully upsetting compromised expectations
Deflating swelled ego nationalistic pride
Anything can happen probably will
Nothing simulated playing for real
Uniting uneven odds enthusiastic motivation
Catching fever pass it on
Passion evolves in 4-year cycles
2018 Olympics World Cup bids
The future isn’t something we
Enter it’s something we create
No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson and Mr. Saknarin Chinayote proudly present YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
When is it time to unlock the love locks?
When the love of the gleam of chrome was for glory
rather than health, longevity, strength and beauty?
When wild animals under lock and key
find the sanctuary of space and fresh air?
When the unfair imprisoned reach for the bar
and ask for a hand hold?
When the bridge of love falls under its weight
When the artist says I’ll find a way for you to show
the world what you love, how you love, and when,
how to keep love locks from becoming dread locks.
Tricia Knoll's chapbook Urban Wild is now available from Finishing Line Press.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
|A hedge fund manager’s plan to help clean up Detroit by letting baby goats graze on public land has come to an abrupt end — or so it seems. Mark Spitznagel, the founder of the $6 billion hedge fund Universa Investments, brought 18 goats to the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit last Thursday to graze on public lots as part of a campaign to promote urban farming. The goats were not well received by some city officials, who said local laws prohibited having animals graze on city property. So after a whirlwind 48 hours, Mr. Spitznagel’s baby goats were back on a truck on Saturday heading out of the neighborhood, destined to be sold to butchers. --Alexandra Stevenson, NY Times, June 9, 2014 (Image source: Housers at Idyll Farm)|
Don’t depend on Man
To clean up Detroit.
But goats can.
Will they get any thanks?
No, all they’re going to get
Yes, when their work is done
they’ll be sent to the final farm.
In reward for their gesture
they should be given a pasture
strewn with cigarette butts
and other yummy stuff.
should get our vote.
Monday, June 09, 2014
I open the email – not quite sure what to expect –
to find that I have won 3rd place in the National Exphrasis Contest.
They have found my piece – written to Van Gogh’s “The Harvest” to their liking -
So much so – it will be include in the art exhibit
and placed in their three year anniversary anthology.
No prize money – of course – that is understood – but OH! the Joy I feel.
Until I read a little further – to the part where they mention
We would like you to consider removing the first stanza.
Our judge, who is an esteemed professor from a local University,
feels it would be a stronger piece if you would just let that haystack reference go.
While pondering this suggestion I wonder if they would have asked Van Gogh
to paint out the haystack on the left.
Weighing in the cost of removing just two lines . . .
I wonder if they will still consider me ‘a winner’ if I decline.
Lynnie Gobeille is one of the editors of The Origami Poems Project, a world wide “free poetry event” based in Rhode Island. Her poetry has been published on line and in numerous journals. Her work has also been read on NPR and, in England, on ELFIN radio. Her chapbook Life not quite Understood is now available through Finishing Line Press.
Sunday, June 08, 2014
The Frenchman is dead.
Bow your head.
Say a prayer.
The Frenchman is dead.
Hopped a train -- age eight.
Joined the carney,
The wall of death.
The Frenchman is dead, bow your heads, say a prayer.
Went to sea
Became a sailor
Seller of moonshine
Turned creator of gold-plated contraptions
Lost on the moon.
The Frenchman is dead.
Bow your head. Say a prayer.
Moved his wife to a gravedigger shack
Near the Butte
Next to the Queen of the Angels
Rivers and mountains and glaciered filled skies.
The Frenchman is dead.
Boot Hill Auto Salvation.
(Antique and classic)
His life’s ambition
Read and written
In the Holy Grail of
Abandoned car parts
-- A creaking
Harrisville Ferris wheel reaching to heaven,
Trunks and hoods -- and
And horns, and headlights.
Twisted skeletons of wasted steel.
Waiting . . .
All waiting in the weeds
For the salvage of judgment day.
The Frenchman is dead.
Bow your head. Say a prayer.
“Brother of The Third Wheel,”
Road a pan head
223-pieces of gold.
The Frenchman is dead.
Took his last custom-made ride
On the wild Matanuska winds --
The Frenchman is dead.
Bow your head. Say a prayer.
Saturday, June 07, 2014
|'The OJ Simpson murder trial became a symbol of all that was wrong with America: a legal system that could be manipulated and bought; allegations of police racism and planted evidence, dividing the nation by colour. Simpson become an unlikely folk hero to many and the "Trial of the Century" became a media circus. When the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, Kim [Goldman, victim Ron Goldman's sister] recalls: "I couldn't breathe. I couldn't hold myself up.”' --The Express (UK) June 7, 2014|
Ideology aside, in
the real world of
touch and feel---
being OJ matters,
while innocence and
guilt mean something,
OJ ish ness closes
the deal--- whether
he did it or not.
As a neuron-wired
knee jerk fancy
ad sells you a
more than suffices.
May take eleven months
of attorney bills, but
better that than the two
short weeks it takes the
Court to send those
other poor jokers off for
death by injection of sour
drugs---no choking or
squirming for 25 minutes.
So when the glove don't
fit, you must acquit
I'm so sick and tired of
seeing that disgusting
smile on re-runs after
the jury came back
I could spit my guts out.
But every poor slob
should have one of those
lying serpents---we'd save
a lot in prison costs.
Hell, the almighty dollar
even sells you a pet
rock---a pet what?
imagine that, a pet rock.
you don't have to
feed, clothe or
but you can't even
take the silly furless
little thing to work
with you for any
not exactly prototypical
Aristotelian natural wealth.
Pet rocks even
make that glittering
fools' gold look good
the emperor's new
clothes on stilts,
just the best wool
wig pulled over
the peepers that's
Gil Hoy received a B.A in Philosophy from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Gil also is an elected member of the Brookline, MA Democratic Town Committee, and served as a Brookline, MA Selectman for 12 years. Gil studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. His first poem “When Doctor Death Calls” was published in Volume #47 of Soul Fountain. “An Unjust Law” and “When Gandhi Lay Dying” were published in April and May, respectively, in The New Verse News. Gil is married, with three children, and lives in Brookline, MA.
Friday, June 06, 2014
|'President Obama’s plan to remove all U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016 “is not a zero option . . . not a withdrawal plan,” the commander of U.S. and international forces there said Wednesday. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. said the plan he expects to implement, following Obama’s announcement last week, is a “transition” that bears no resemblance to the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Under the plan, nearly 14,000 U.S., NATO and other international troops will remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of combat forces at the end of this year.' --Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, June 4, 2014 Image source: Paul Shinkman, US News & World Report|
When American forces
leave the rubble of a country
we shake off the experience
Just not straightaway.
George Salamon lives and writes in St. Louis, MO and contributes to the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and The New Verse News.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as “trigger warnings,” explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans. -- New York Times, 5/17/14
It should be noted that none of the schools cited in the Times article have actually implemented a policy that would mandate trigger warnings, and that college classrooms have often served as testing grounds for vital policies that might at first have seemed apocalyptic or Pollyannaish. Trigger warnings could eventually become part of academic environments, as unobtrusive and beneficial as wheelchair ramps and kosher toaster ovens. --Jay Caspian Kang, “Trigger Warnings and the Novelist’s Mind,” The New Yorker, May 22, 2014
Our syllabi have warning labels now.
We fear that certain stuff in history
And literature classrooms could somehow
Become a “trigger” for PTSD.
Slaveowners, Nazis, and the KKK --
These are a few rogues from the gallery
Of sadists calculated to dismay
Students with special sensitivity.
The cross, the rack, the bullwhip, and the stake;
Rape, warfare, genocidal tyranny --
There’s only so much college kids can take
Of painful truth about humanity.
We warn them and invite them to avert
Their eyes from education that might hurt.
Chris O’Carroll is a writer and an actor. In addition to his previous appearances in The New Verse News, he has published poems in First Things, Folly, Measure, The Oldie, and Snakeskin, among other print and online journals, and in the anthologies The Best of the Barefoot Muse and 20 Years at the Cantab Lounge.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Washington Post, June 2, 2014
Director of Creative Writing and professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox’s book, Local News from Someplace Else (Wipf & Stock 2013), focuses on living in an unsafe world. In addition, she has a new ebook, Perpendicular As I ( Kindle version, Nook version, Kobo version).
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
I attend the morning session
hopeful, there might be
a trial, maybe something;
she'll fit the thing they need.
Poker-faced, the lead guy says
the endpoints went unmet in this phase three,
but in some subset, it looks promising.
Back home, things would deteriorate;
she'll go back in this week,
as I'll wander the exhibit hall, endless
and commercialized, in ways nearly obscene.
The start-ups and the biotechs, lure attendees
in with chocolate crepes and fresh coffee.
At 2 PM, another friend will text:
she's made it through,
and on her brain, some pressure's been relieved.
There, staring dazed and vacantly, (after all,
it is day three) through the haze of late-stage entities,
through the fleeting, spit-shined pipeline dreams --
the posters offer palpably: the best
the best can offer here can offer only
two to three, and maybe improve quality;
and none of it comes free.
Tracey Gratch lives in Quincy, MA with her husband and their four children. Her poems have appeared in journals and publications including Mezzo Cammin, The Literary Bohemian, The Flea, Annals of Internal Medicine, Boston Literary Magazine, The New Verse News and The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Her poem, "Strong Woman" is included in the American College of Physicians, On Being A Doctor, Volume 4, published in April, 2014.
Monday, June 02, 2014
|President Obama said Friday that White House press secretary Jay Carney will be stepping down from his job and be replaced by deputy Josh Earnest. ‘It's been an amazing experience,’ Carney said after Obama's announcement. ‘Just so fulfilling’.” --USA Today, May 30, 2014|
Yes, Michelle and B went out for pizza. Yes,
macaroni. They're in Baltimore. That's
where my mother was born. Well, really,
she was born in Annapolis; her father
worried sick she'd marry a sailor. We're
fundamentally all from Baltimore,
aren't we? We are all on the same page. Even
Vlad. He flew in last night. Staying
in the spare closet. I mean closest bedroom
to the rest of the O's. Yes, he can.
He can recite couplets from the Rubaiyat. He's
a real gadabout from Siberia to the gulf
stream waters, from D.C. to Donetsk. Yes,
I believe he believes that this land
is his land, folks. Yes, two-thirds of Americans
fundamentally believe in didactic melting.
Yes, I believe that at the end of the day, we're all
on the same page at the end of the day.
No, man, I don't believe we've ever met
a Talisman close up in Baltimore. No,
no, I don't believe in direct talk with anyone.
I've lost my water bottle. Does anyone
happen to have a jug of bread, a loaf of wine?
A bow-wow? My water bottle walked off
with Joe. Slipped down the neck of a crane.
My keychain has disappeared, too. If you
see one with rhinestones and an owl and a million
keys, bend down and pick it up. No, no,
no, no pussy cat. Yes, I believe there's a recent
recall on carbon emissions. Yes, over
a million first-time visitors to the website over
the weekend. Now that's a real rhinestone.
Judith Terzi is a poet living in Pasadena, California. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Centrifugal Eye, Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo), Pacific Coast Poetry Series' Los Angeles Poetry Anthology (Beyond Baroque), TheRaintown Review, and elsewhere. Her latest chapbook from Finishing Line is Ghazal for a Chambermaid. A former high school French teacher, she also taught English at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as in Algiers, Algeria.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
The sky is a passion tower
A vertical breath from the bosom of a fire God
Voluptuous love-plumes bellow like a death sentence
An inferno of justice
Where are the birds, the planes?
Entranced by elemental fury, farmers hover in the shade and
offer incense and a thousand goats to the gods
who enrich their soil
The sky is a love sculpture
Tangled clouds of fairy floss assault the atmosphere
Rivers flow in lava, arisen from the mountain floor —
Tomorrow’s saucers fly —
The sky is passion.
Martha Landman writes in North Queensland, Australia. Her most recent work has appeared in Jellyfish Whispers.