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Tuesday, September 30, 2014


by Earl J. Wilcox

The San Francisco Giants celebrate wild-card clinch in their clubhouse following their 9-8 win against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

after e e cummings

which used to be far fewer games
   but now we play almost
   during April and October
the Jeter circus has left town
   along with Zimmerman’s no hitter
Trout’s tantrums Puig&Pujhols' slambamthankyouma’am
   and what I want to know is
how do you like your wild card now
   Mr Selig

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.

Monday, September 29, 2014


by Janet Leahy

Image source: 7NewsDenver

"A newly conservative board for the Jefferson County School District, which is Colorado’s second-largest, raised the possibility of pruning the curriculum of books and material that could be seen to exalt civil disobedience and promote unpatriotic thoughts. Where does that leave the civil rights movement? Vietnam?" --Frank Bruni, “The Wilds of Education, NY Times, September 27, 2014

"The organization that oversees the Advanced Placement curriculum, whose history course is being defended by massive, ongoing student protests in a Denver suburb, has now said that it backs those protests. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program supports the actions taken by students in Jefferson County, Colorado to protest a school board member’s request to censor aspects of the AP U.S. History course," said a statement from the College Board released on Friday. --HuffPost, September 27, 2014

In Colorado
students march with teachers protesting
the school board’s agenda to change
the AP history curriculum.
Why teach evolution, climate change,
the civil rights struggle, the exploitation
of Indigenous People?
Why teach critical thinking?
Just erase the chapters of the past that might
cast a negative light—
the bombing of Hiroshima, slavery.
Rip whole chapters from history books.
Red-flag for omission accurate facts
that show Americans
treating others as less than human.
The scholarship of history in question.
Yet these students
keep their eyes on the prize,
demanding an education aligned with truth,
ignorance is not bliss.

Janet Leahy writes poetry in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, she has two collections of poetry, The Storm, Poems of War, Iraq and Not My Mother’s Classroom.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


by Christopher Woods

Has gone dark and quiet and sad,
But still the dancers come,
All ages, both sexes, sit in chairs,
In circles, or in lines facing each other,
No longer allowed the art of movement.
But imagination still breathes deeply
As they imagine dancing a polka,
Foxtrot, recall the smiles of partners
Taking each other’s hands, or holding
A lover close as a song ends.
No music here now, but who can forget
A glorious Strauss waltz, a sensual samba.
Still, they cannot, will not, surrender.
So in the ballroom gloom,
They silently, defiantly,
Hum Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
Over the din of madness
In the street outside.

Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Texas.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


by Martin Elster

This is an illustration of water in our Solar System through time from before the Sun's birth through the creation of the planets. (Image source: Bill Saxton, NSF/AUI/NRAO via Science Daily) “Water was crucial to the rise of life on Earth and is also important to evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Identifying the original source of Earth's water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments come into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. New work from a team including Carnegie's Conel Alexander found that much of our Solar System's water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Their work is published in Science.” --Science Daily, September 25, 2014

The molecules commingling in your glass
once swirled in clouds of interstellar gas,
surrendered to a leisurely collapse
and drenched a world whose pair of crystal caps
interns them under sleds and fleecy shoes,
while warmer zones allow them to infuse
the stems and stalks of your Kukicha tea
or trickle up your favorite apple tree.
A cornice softens on the Matterhorn,
hastens toward Green Lake to be reborn
a mirror amid the heights, evaporates,
condenses in a stretch of blue, then waits
for drops to fuse and fatten, fall and land
on forest, field or the parading band —
a rill of resonances drifting down
the central boulevard of some small town,
each drumming hand, each fifing lung, each brain
brimming with primeval, living rain.

Martin Elster, author of There’s a Dog in the Heavens!, is also a composer and serves as percussionist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. His poems have appeared in such journals as Astropoetica, The Flea, The Martian Wave, The Rotary Dial, and in the anthologies Taking Turns: Sonnets from Eratosphere, The 2012 Rhysling Anthology, and New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan. Martin’s poem, “Walking With the Birds and the Bones Through Fairview Cemetery” received first prize in the Thomas Gray Anniversary Poetry Competition 2014.

Friday, September 26, 2014


by Howie Good

Image source: Country Wives

A swirling cloud of rocks & gravel
sweeps along the ground,
& before I have time to develop
a plausible theory about it,

the woman staggers up to me,
an eye missing, a hand gone,
a brittle blue flower tucked saucily
behind her remaining ear,
& I suddenly know of what the future consists:

a certain unrest in all there has been,

the desire to rescue scrap
& then serve celebratory champagne
to saints & alcoholics,

an unpremeditated encounter
at the breakfast table with an apple, pears,
a heart cut with a cake knife.

Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


by Laura Rodley

Image source: Professor Potts

Clear balloon like creature, submarine shaped
with small yellow orange and pink dots draped
along its body, tiny beads for eyes
and tendrils on its bottom, a surprise
swishing through the salt sea water, small as
my hand disappearing into morass
of bright green sea lettuce waving on rocks
but tide is leaving and this creature balks
from swimming with current into the sea
squishes against rocks covered with wavy
green troll hair, but he’ll dry up in the sun
and die if he doesn’t hurry up and run
into tidal sluice, so I herd him out,
guide him with my hand towards ocean, turned about,
this squid moving up the coast, weather’s burst,
hotter, never seen one before, my first.

Laura Rodley’s New Verse News poem “Resurrection” appears in The Pushcart Prlze XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses (2013 edition). She was nominated twice before for the Prize as well as for Best of the Net. Her chapbook Rappelling Blue Light, a Mass Book Award nominee,  won honorable mention for the New England Poetry Society Jean Pedrick Award. Her second chapbook Your Left Front Wheel is Coming Loose was also nominated for a Mass Book Award and a L.L.Winship/Penn New England Award. Both were published by Finishing Line Press.  Co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing and works as contributing writer and photographer for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.  She edited As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, Volume I and Volume II.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


by Mark Danowsky

Image source: CNN, September 22, 2014

Obama Says Airstrikes Go Beyond ISIS --NY Times, September 23, 2014

I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed! -- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind"

History is a lesson in repetition.
I know I’ve heard that said before.
Just like I’ve heard about us arming
and training rebel groups before.

Later, it almost goes without saying,
we will be forced to send more troops,
our troops, guns to combat guns
we sent the rebels we trained
since now they’re in charge
and causing us problems
because they will not give up
guns or beliefs
for our idea of democracy.

Look, we do what we have to
for others, in a well-known exchange
of autonomy, independence, hell
even free temptation
to be insular, given the dynamic
nature of our global community.

It’s an exponential market out there.
No one wants to be picked on
today, check out foreign policy
in Switzerland and France.
Most of us want greater good
in spite of mistakes made
and made again
in pursuit of good.

Evil cares little for mistakes
finding factious home
among the fractures
becoming legion
as we must in desperation
to eradicate this menace
by division.

Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in Apiary, Alba: A Journal of Short Poetry, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Red River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Snow Monkey and The New Verse News.  His poem "5am Summer Storm"won Imitation Fruit’s “Animals and Their Human’s” Contest, in 2013. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Mark currently lives in a van down by the Susquehanna River. He works for a private detective agency and is assistant copy editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


by Kit Zak

For fifteen seconds they streaked across the TV
three gals sporting signs for Ray
boobs pressed against t’s in baiting provocation
pom-pomming their support
for Ravens’ player Rice (only the latest)

maybe it happens in infancy
ingrained in DNA
the girl-child, Adam’s cast-off rib
second best/ split tail
cheerleading their hearts out

maybe the father preferred sons
or he submerges the mother’s weak ego--
witness the daughters, their voiceless smiling
how some touchstone for female being

ritualized violation
in one hundred and twenty countries
girls as young as five
held down by fellow females
their womanhood razored or knifed
and if they survive
proclaimed pure.                                                                                                        

uncounted nuns minioned to priests
unequal for centuries
tonguing their shame
as ‘the good father’ dispenses the wafers                                                                                                  
and we, who have been tattooed to serve
smile and offer tea.

Kit Zak retired from teaching and threw herself into some environmental projects in sea-threatened Delaware. She has published poems in The New Verse News, California Quarterly, A Time of Singing, The Blue Collar Review, and The Broadkill Review as well as several anthologies. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


by Stefanie Bennett

Tsering Tsomo, speaking on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples, highlighted the recent shooting in Kardze, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province) as a recent example of the People’s Republic of China being caught in a downward spiral of violence in Tibet. . . . Exercising its right to reply, the PRC accused NGOs of turning a “blind eye” and trying to politicize human rights. --Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, September 18, 2014

Your tears have a way of working.
The miracles they perform
Are dispatched to the authorities.

You say you mean peace. I say war
Is of more value. You do not intend
To harm me... it's said over and again.

Convince me!

String up those genocides for
All to see. Spit out
The eyes... take mine...

I don't need your need.

Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and 1 novel. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee], she was born in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia, in 1945. Stefanie's latest poetry title 'The Vanishing' is due at year's end from Walleah Press.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


by Charles Frederickson

Dysfunctional planet implosive uncivil warmongers
Warped minds bent on self-destruction
Obsessive-compulsive hateful fears carefully taught
Lessons learned today tomorrow’s legacies

Wild nature everything we’re struggling
To tame greedy excess abuses
Gaining reverence for natural world
Existence all forms of life

Eco-systems being destroyed used up
Lacerating soiled Earth begging mercy
Gouging riches stripping life-preserver dermis
Poisoning pure air water foodstuff

Outliving your life making difference
Create own legacy caring for
Others indelibly etched into brainwaves
Carved onto hearts not tombstones

Joyous cherished moments shared memories
Doing something positively original inspiring
Next generation’s unique extraordinary perspectives
Unimaginable next interconnected digital level

Cultivating tolerant multiversity conservation no
Longer luxury option survival imperative
Running out of natural resources
Now running out of time

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson  proudly presents YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Saturday, September 20, 2014


by W.F. Lantry

Our marbled cherry trees have lost their leaves.
It’s not yet solstice. Birds are gathering
in hidden trees along the riverside.
I listen to them from the forest’s edge
and mark the dew on willows, heavy pods
of wisteria, weighing down each separate vine,
disordered grass stems tangling Mary’s feet.

We’ve each spent lifetimes learning all these signs:
our Fall is coming, even though the days
seem long enough to finish everything.
I take on so little. I take on far too much:
the red clay pond, half dug and filled with rain
beckons. It’s pleasant work, but other tasks
with other frames conspire. Is there time?

And yesterday, at dusk, we crossed a field.
I offered her my shirt against the cold
and noticed how the hawks have disappeared
replaced by owls and foxes, how the deer
made bold by wind, invade, how sedum change
from white to rose. Some moving into red
presage feathered designs of ice-framed ponds.

W.F. Lantry’s poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, The Language of Birds(Finishing Line 2011), and a forthcoming collection The Book of Maps. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors' Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), and the Potomac Review and LaNelle Daniel Prizes. His work has appeared in Atlanta Review, Asian Cha and Aesthetica. He works in Washington, DC and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW.

Friday, September 19, 2014


by Catherine Cimillo Cavallone

. . . Nor is there any evidence in the Koran to support the wearing of the burka. Indeed, the Holy Book stipulates that men ‘should lower their gaze’ when meeting women to avoid lecherous staring (verse 24, chapter 30). So logically, if women were fully covered up there would be no need for such an instruction. Some Muslim clergy claim that the burka is religiously necessary. They assert this because the Prophet Muhammad’s wives allegedly hid their faces in public. These puritanical clerics do not base their theological misrepresentations on the Koran but on the subsidiary and suspect hadith (a collection of books containing the reputed sayings of Muhammad, written 250 years after his death).  In any case, this is a wilful misreading of scripture. In fact, verse 32 of chapter 33 in the Koran explicitly states that ‘the Prophet’s wives are not like other women’. So  there is no reason to emulate them. Just as revealingly, it is forbidden for Muslim women going on pilgrimages to Mecca to cover their faces. So if such a pre-Islamic practice is banned in Islam’s holiest site, why on earth would it be required on the streets of Britain? The truth is that there is no theological foundation for these separatist face masks, as most non-fundamentalists recognise. Only recently, Al-Azhar, the leading institution of Muslim theology in the Islamic world, declared that the burka has no spiritual authenticity. --Dr Taj Hargey, Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation and the Director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford

she will feel the caked earth

mud huts seeping through

blistered toes.

the winds will wrap about her ankles

coil up her splintered calves.

her knees, like desert rocks,

buckle and shake as she exposes

heaving midriff to the flagrant sunlight.

her breasts, like two ashen husks,

quiver in the stagnant air.

finally, her eyes,

landmines about to detonate onto the world,

gaze upon the adumbration of where

woman once stood.

Catherine Cimillo Cavallone is a teacher of middle school students. Her work has appeared in Four Walls, Sensations Magazine, The Rift Arts Forum Publication, Beyond the Rift-Poets of the Palisades, Red River Review, Phantom Kangaroo, Red Wheel Barrow, Turk’s Head Review and is forthcoming in Oddville Press and Nerve Lantern.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband George and son Michael.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


by Lawrence J. Krips

Your article from February ninth
said nothing of how our terrorist search
protects no one but brings internecine fear
and what is it we teach?
So your author says of all the foiled plots
homeland has been saved many a day
not mentioning we’ve lost our country;
the freedom to be free, the world in dismay.


I read your editorial on peace
and wonder when our nation will love,
love some space, just one small piece,
love even ones we hate.
My suggestion for your readers
is to start with loving us,
then we will stop killing our leaders
and then cease killing every one else.


All I can say
is bless the N.R.A.
Who else to defend our rights
against unconstitutional insights?
The best protection is to arm.
More automatics keeps us from harm.
The radicals steal our guns
by stealing our rights one by one.


The drones,
the killings,
the Americans.
Robot dragons
spit their fire.
the haste of death.
Blood spattered dreams –
have died.


We need to keep drilling.
Capitalism runs upon it.
We need to keep on killing.
This control is our ace in the hole.
We need to have more money
to serve the people who deserve.
We need to have soldiers in the army
to protect our preserve.


Your anorexic take on modern psychotherapy
left me less than informed or cheered.
The lucid truth is therapy
is as good as the therapist.
And despite your insecurities about process
those that remain in the land of effects
remain in a territory tending toward death
instead of here in the thick of the juice.

Lawrence J. Krips is a writer and an empowerment coach.  His poems have appeared in Rhode Island Writers Circle Anthology, Origami Poems Project and Tifferet.  In 2012 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


by Susan Roney-O'Brien

Photo by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy

Birds rise, sun in their throats,
and each note sung
closes day.

The mother sobs.
Her son is dead, murdered by police.

Catalpa flowers’
whitest cupped petals
float silent onto grass.

A woman raped,
hanged, her eyes opened. A priest nods.

On the pond beyond green bank
oaks reflect; fish
pass through shade.

Isis annihilates homes,
beheads an American journalist.

Before baling, the hayfield’s
crumpled waves break
against light.

Forgiveness bleeds out.
Dawn clenches clouds like fists.

Susan Roney-O'Brien lives in Princeton, MA, has won the William and Kingman Page Poetry Book Award, been nominated for 5 Pushcart Prizes, been selected NEATE's Poet-of-the-Year, works with young writers to publish their books, and has published widely in literary magazines. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


by Gil Hoy

Photo by Mike Batterham, Gold Coast Bulletin

through pulsating flesh, as
the hot orange sun glistens
on freshly red-tainted steel.

No moans, no cries, no gasps,
as the core of a rational caring
man drops to the ground
with a sickening thud.

A Prime Minister recoils in
disgust at an uncivilized war
and the provocative evil
natives who dared to show

the world what a savage
brutal killing entails.
The monstrous revenge of
bombs continues to rein on

villages of the weak, who have
no say over anything, and have
been moved into the firing zone,
their killing ordered by faceless

masters they will never know,
unconcerned with the day’s
politics, just wanting another
day’s food and shelter.

A smiling child skips along
the beach in her wildly carefree
exuberance, dexterously
dodging the remaining sea tide

of welcoming puddles, not knowing
about the boys coming home in
body bags from ruinous
wars that she never would have

wanted, awed by the rhythmic
tidal sounds and smell of sea
salt, as a bagpipe player
in full regalia thinks about

the way the world still conducts
war and plays haunting songs
in the sand. A disgraced

soldier receives God’s
commendation for abandoning the
flag and disobeying a command,

while an inquisitive circling seagull flies
overhead looking for something
fresh to eat in the sea’s puddles.

Gil Hoy studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. Since then, Gil’s poems have been published in Soul Fountain, The New Verse News, The Story Teller Magazine, the Clark Street Review, Eye On Life Magazine, and Stepping Stones Magazine.

Monday, September 15, 2014


by Richard O’Connell

Darkness over NYSE by Fernando de Otto

Prodigal of blood and treasure not his own,
He beats the drum for war and martyrdom.

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.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


by David Chorlton

The streets flowed easily,
one into another, and the full moon rolled
behind the clouds. Thunder
beat against the door
to wake a sleeper who had been dreaming
disconcerting dreams
and who rose to ghost to the kitchen
through the living room, whose darkness
was tempered by reflections
coming from the raindrops as they filled
with light from the streetlamps
coming down.
                     The house was floating
on insomnia. A television
flashed on, and the evangelist who never sleeps
strode up and down a stage
wearing a suit cut from sharkskin and stars
while he turned a Bible’s pages
as if counting money. The next
channel showed a drama
in which throats were slashed
convincingly, and the story turned back
on itself until the guilty party
took her own life with a gesture
worthy of an opera. It was a fine
entertainment for the hour
the early local news
that revealed the city under water
with nightlights and headlamps and searching
while saguaros took in more water
than their roots could hold
and tumbled with a splash
onto the ground. By dawn’s early light
on the freeway,
                        car roofs broke a surface
so calm it was more
beautiful than the usual
rush to be somewhere
other than here. The bickering
over climate change stalled
with the traffic;
                        replaced by this new
experience leaving everyone
impressed by nature’s power.

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.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


by Mary McLean

As we drove home from Edinburgh

following the Fringe,

romantic jingoism sparked

a Scottish music binge.

Our CD player blasted out

the Corries' famous song

putting Proud Edward in his place,

and we both sang along. 

We chose Proclaimers' Greatest Hits

to carry on the mood,

neglecting to eject the Corries

first. Now both are screwed.

The Corries, on the bottom, we

can listen to; but then,

no more CDs will ever ever

ever play again.

Think about it, Scotland, in

the coming referendum.

A Yes vote might feel satisfying

now, with the momentum

of national pride; you'll still have oil;

you'll win some golds at curling;

but do you want to live your lives

stuck On the Brig o' Stirling?

Mary McLean grew up outside Washington DC and now works as a scientist at the University of Cambridge. Her poems have appeared in Mezzo Cammin, Light and Lighten Up Online.

Friday, September 12, 2014


by John Guzlowski

ISIL beheads civilians in the city of Al-Raqqa. --Syria Newsdesk

The corpse in the street
Is headless

Flies do their business
Sow their seeds

Nearby a man sells
Tea and cigarettes

There is no place
For irony

John Guzlowski’s writing has appeared in The Ontario Review, Atlanta Review, and Exquisite Corpse.  His poems about his parents’ experiences in Nazi concentration camps appear in his book Lightning and Ashes.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


by Charles Frederickson

USAge of rAGE September 11th
GMT ocean apart November 9th
Bloodied souls hearts of darkness
Infected scar wounds never heal

Unforgettable demonic horrors ghostly afterimAGEs
Haunted nightmares still under siege
Chaos confusion consternation almost coming
 To terms with unsaid goodbyes

Unsung heroes turn next pAGE
Keeping on fighting valiantly never
Giving up or giving in
That’s what makes them heroes

Incredible boundless voyAGE lone survivor
Stranded indifferent drowning pool wake
Awakened fathomable dreams in-limbo RIP
Perfect stillness breathless last gasps

If only this was mirAGE
Never knowing anything but sand
Sunshiny glare parched thirst unquenched
Deserted foolish delusions of oases

EncourAGEment lovingly learned by hearts
Cherishing mutually shared family moments
Never stopped being each other
Unanswered prayers one less “Amen”

Revitalized existence bitterness resilient resolve
Intent on rewriting happier ending
Being moved eventually moving on
Treasured forever friends invaluable support

No Holds Bard Dr. Charles Frederickson  proudly presents YouTube mini-movies @ YouTube – CharlesThai1 .

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


by James Penha

At the 9/11 Museum in New York, a 47,000-pound chunk of the antenna from the north tower of the World Trade Center.

                                                                                  “Stasis in darkness.” --Sylvia Plath

fingers reach out gravely wirelessly magnetically
more cathartically than in decades of prideful
atop the tower
now its own elegant and meteoric

James Penha edits The New Verse News.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


by Tracey Gratch

For their first event of the year, J Street Swarthmore gathered with other student organizations for a vigil in memory of the Israelis and Palestinians who lost their lives this summer. Image and caption from J Street on FaceBook, September 6, 2014.

i.m. Daniel Tragerman

A distant recurrence
brings death to the door;
hollow, the victory,
made brutal by war.

With darkness descending
and cars rushing past
I pedal, ascending,
as images flash

chiaroscuro through trees
now fading to gray;
there's one that remains
at the end of the day --

His soul will be borne
in a scrapbook of hope;
a mother will mourn,
sustaining the trope.

 Chickatawbut Hill looms;
 I'm going for broke.

Author’s note: This poem came while biking through the Blue Hills in Milton, MA at dusk, shortly after reading the story of the death of Daniel Tragerman, the 4-year-old Israeli boy who was killed in his home on August 22 by shrapnel from a mortar shell fired from Gaza.

Tracey Gratch lives in Quincy, MA with her husband and their four children. Her poems have appeared in various and sundry 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.

Monday, September 08, 2014


by Jed Myers

Detail of “Abraham” (1502) by Filippino Lippi at the Strozzi Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

I might beseech Ishmael, by my old body’s language,
to take the cushioned seat by the window, the one
where I think he’d be the most comfortable. But the sun
in his eyes at that angle? I don’t know. And the carnage
in midday glare—how could that view leave him sanguine
to talk with Isaac at all? I could draw the shade,
or suggest the carpeted floor, like where they once played
under both mothers’ gaze. Oh, how could they hang on
to those days like I do? Isaac will call for a chair
too far from his brother, not in the same light. So I’ll offer
dark tea, sage water, or something stronger,
to soften the crystalline disdain in the air.
This could be the day they discover, neither is tougher
and neither can have his way. Or must we go longer?

Jed Myers is a Philadelphian living in Seattle. Two of his poetry collections, The Nameless (Finishing Line Press) and Watching the Perseids (winner of the 2013 Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), are being released in 2014. He won the 2012 Mary C. Mohr Editors’ Award offered by Southern Indiana Review, and received the 2013 Literal Latte Poetry Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Crab Orchard Review, Fugue, Atlanta Review, Crab Creek Review, Sanskrit, South 85, The Tusculum Review

Sunday, September 07, 2014


by Michael Mark

The Bergin University of Canine Studies Puppy Cam

It was so much easier
to become enlightened then.

They didn’t have the
Puppy Cam to deal with.

Buddha could spend all day under
the Bodhi tree with no thought
of puppies wiggling and

So cute.

Puppies sleeping in piles.
Puppies waking up.
Puppies blindly crawling
over each other to get food.

Each move updated in
real time,
to your phone, iPad, laptop
right to your HDTV!

Puppies peeing.
Puppies’ eyes opening.
Puppies barking and
scaring themselves.
So cute.
Puppies being licked
clean by mom.

That’s how he was
able to concentrate with
such precision, for so long.

Cobras encircled Buddha.
Elephants charged him.
Mara sent his sexy daughters
to be his concubines.
He didn’t blink.

But Buddha didn’t have
the Puppy Cam.

Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker – his latest journey was the Camino De Santiago. His poetry has appeared or is set to appear in Angle Journal, Awakening Consciousness Magazine, Empty Mirror, Everyday Poets, Forge Journal, OutsideIn Magazine, Petrichor Review, San Diego Poetry Annual, Ray’s Road Review, Scapegoat Journal, Spillway, Red Booth Review, Red Paint Hill, Sleet Magazine, The Thing Itself, The New York Times, UPAYA, Word Soup End Hunger, Wayfarer and other nice places.

Saturday, September 06, 2014


by Scott Jessop


evicted the widow and roasted her children     his giant proboscis gleeful his lips smacking as lovers parted as he slithered into the marshlands of stories taradiddles flowing from his cup whetting tongues of hopeful ears and disappeared in darkness and memories of cultural gray matter dumping grounds     Cry for our villains     the Joker had an abusive father Lex Luthor was unloved   Dracula was only defending his home   the cop who murders innocent Black boys on empty streets cares for his sick father   the boy stole cigars you know   the terrorist is disaffected    the racists had his cattle confiscated by jackbooted government agents wearing black designer Hollywood costumes    hear the sirens City of Compton nine bullets the investigation was closed before it opened     our poisoned food employs fracking geo-techs belching coal soot to keep Kentucky happy while polar ice caps burn in the San Gabriel Mountains above jungles of Starbucks and trees of In and Outs    but we must understand why the father beat his daughter to forgive the priest who raped his son    why the cop shot that unarmed boy and the 19 bodies in the backyard    Because our hero is a serial killer or meth dealer or convict or Drax the Destroyer    because Hitler made the trains run on time and Mussolini did it for the glory of Italy and Franco did it for himself  and the Glenda mistreated the Wicked Witch
          vigilantes walked through Roman streets with fasces beating Black boys in hoodies with candy in their pockets and Batman is a vigilante and TV cops shoot but cut to commercial before Castle sees the body and the Badoon invade    the panel shows collapsed buildings but the streets are clean   as the Towers fell I saw no bodies    General Zod wiped out half of Metropolis but no bodies were seen    a blood-free massacre as all our massacres are because Marcellus Wallace is cool and Coke is the real thing (never mind the diabetes) I want my


sympathy is for the devil and forgiveness is mine sayeth the Lord.
Man plants evil.
           Waters it    weeds the garden and hoes the row    stories myths teach us the night and day of morality so we can see it in the diminishing sun of twilight    the hero understands the hero is compassionate and God-like in his forgiveness    but knows that evil is not marginalized or homogenized or realized    Evil is not ambiguous.

Malus malo est


Image: Pantalone costume design  by Serge Sudeikin (1925) for Stravinsky’s Petrushka at the Metropolitan Opera, NY. Image source: WikiArt

Scott Jessop lives in the 135-year old, haunted Midland Railroad station in Manitou Springs, Colorado with his daughter, Kathleen and his cat, Jack Kerouac. He is a corporate video and TV commercial producer, poet, spoken word performer, and Pushcart Prize nominee for Penduline Press for his short story "Mephisto".

Friday, September 05, 2014


by Michelle Marie

Protesters demand higher pay at the Tenleytown McDonald's. (WTOP/Savannah Simons)

this poem is sick but
goes home without pay

the bleach bucket, no
time for a scrub, scrub clean

these working conditions. scrub
this median wage of $10 per/hr
tips included//

this poem makes 44% less
than most poems, turn your head, scrub

clean that busted look on your
face & those
anxious demands

what it's about//the customer?
that can afford to eat out/ but
not tip? that busted

institution, the restaurant industry

your demands aren't better pay

       but a different table
       lemon slices
       this poem's favorite thing on the menu
       an extra side of _____
       a raspberry vinaigrette
       the check, faster

though you couldn't have
eaten slower

Michelle Marie is author of countless protest letters archived at and a weird piece called "Fucking" in Bluestockings Magazine Issue 4.

Thursday, September 04, 2014


by Stefanie Bennett

Israel appropriated a swath of 990 acres in the West Bank on Sunday and declared the Palestinian area south of Bethlehem to be Israeli "state lands," local media reported. --LA Times, August 31, 2014 (Image source: Peace Now)

In 'My Mother's House'
A deceptive land,
An impulse
Waxes lyric -,

While unencumbered
The axe-head
And wood-block lie
... Seen only
The bi-fold window.

There, time steps through
The filament's
Grasping squall, and
It's found

How I am, now -,
Twice as able
As once was


Stefanie Bennett has published 18 books of poetry and 1 novel. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia 1945. Stefanie's latest poetry title The Vanishing is due late this year from Walleah Press.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


by J. Bradley

Male Nude by Roz McQuillan

You’re jealous of the way I make
an empty bottle of merlot a bearskin rug,
how the crook of my tongue incites stampedes.

You’re designed for, fueled by pollution.
You require the excuse of a god to shed sin,
then wag your fingers like thrown stones.

Please, pick up your jaws.
You’ll catch open jean flies that way.

J. Bradley is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), and the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer. He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


by David Feela

The arrow points to where Anthony "Tony Z" Zerilli says Jimmy Hoffa was buried in Oakland Township, Michigan (Oakland Press, June 17, 2013). Other reports claim Hoffa was "garroted by Anthony 'Tony Pro' Provenzano, a notorious New York mobster" in Inkster, Mich., and fed into a wood chipper (Huffington Post, June 21, 2013).

The ground is hard,
not worth turning,
and of the mystery
the air has cleared.

We gather at the lake,
park, or every backyard
we ever mowed,
all our sorrow at the passing
of summer served up cold.
The celebration lasts
three days, but Tuesday comes
and we take our places
in a line of expectations,
the ones we formulated
for the future against the ones
imposed by bosses.

“How was your weekend?”
Fine, great, stupendous,
we claim, but the truth,
like Hoffa is that the time,
it just disappeared.

David Feela writes a monthly column for The Four Corners Free Press and for The Durango Telegraph. A poetry chapbook, Thought Experiments, won the Southwest Poet Series. His first full length poetry book, The Home Atlas appeared in 2009. His new book of essays, How Delicate These Arches  , released through Raven's Eye Press, has been chosen as a finalist for the Colorado Book Award.

Monday, September 01, 2014


by George Salamon

A 2008 cartoon by Simon Farr (The Guardian)

Seventy-five years ago,
in a dive on Fifty-Second Street,
on the day Hitler's Panzers rolled into Poland
W.H. Auden lamented the end of
"a low and dishonest decade,"
with "waves of anger and fear"
rolling over the earth's "darkened lands."
And here, in the middle of another low and dishonest decade,
I sit at my computer desk in St. Louis, Missouri,
sniffing the same "unmentionable odour of death"
as Auden did, this time rising from the sandy dunes
of Iraq and the glutted bloodlands of Ukraine.
I endure the same "negation and despair,"
as blood flows instead of milk and honey
promised us by psychopathic gods we worship.

George Salamon lives and writes in St. Louis, MO and contributes to the Gateway Journalism Review, Jewish Currents and The New Verse News.