Category Archives: Poetry

a poem by John Grey

Spotted

 

A real spotlight emerges here,
and eyes, that work in progress,
and lives press, edge against edge.
and return with news of hearts.
as far as that spotlight, stops here,
but intercept each other.
clear and solid in less forceful ways,
cloud lines float across our hearing,
cocoons empty out,
countermanding instructions from their planet
curiously uninvolving.
fingers step out of anonymity,
flesh knows firsthand the warmth of satellites
gather away from their peers on stage,
illustrate what we are not reading.
impervious to our weather patterns.
In superior isobars,
in the shadow of champagne.
intelligence and foolishness exchange gifts.
into decorous, perfumed oceans
into the audience of ourselves,
like things brought by rivers,
mill about the moods,
of those who do not meet
on stage,
poets, deposited in the dark
the hidden workshop of the table.
the moth, the butterfly,
the real event is motionless,
the vast world emptied into a glass
the world does not reach
their rain, their breaks for sun,
these others move about
three steps down from stages,
to single out and interpret.
to the rattle of paper,
where things make themselves
where words depart like ships
wild and animated,
with better meanings

 

 

Author Bio:

John Grey is an Australian born poet, works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Chrysalis and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”with work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Osiris.

 

a poem by Stuart Barnes

Icarus Dreams East

 

Brylcreem, a little dab’ll do ya,
Brylcreem, you’ll look so debonair.
Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya,
They’ll love to run their fingers through your hair.

from ‘Brylcreem – A Little Dab’ll Do Ya!’

 

Please, Dad, manufacture two pairs of wings
from the Brylcreem you once dabbed through black hair
(in photographs you seem so debonair!
all the girls pursued you) and the fringes
of those wild Black Swans you slaughtered with Pop
so we might slip this phrenic labyrinth,
couple over Cathay’s jade, tiered paddies,
intone among Singapore’s opulence.

Promise you’ll not devour Mount Everest,
rip up, at tubers, Sri Lanka’s bluest
water lilies, obliterate Vishnu’s
chiliad names. Promise, and I’ll never
be enchanted by Amaterasu,
the Edenic pour of Turkmenistan.

 

 

Author Bio:

Stuart Barnes’ poetry is published in various online and print journals and newspapers incl. Qarrtsiluni, Mascara Literary Review, Overland, The Warwick Review and The Weekend Australian Review. An essay – ‘Robert Smith: More Than Meets The Lancôme Eye’ – appears in the current issue of VLAK: Contemporary Poetics & the Arts. His first accepted short story – ‘Mother and Son’, about his coming out – can be read at Verity La (http://verityla.com/mother-and-son-stuart-barnes/). He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

 

a poem by Ali Znaidi

Haven 

Locked in between
two little stones,
a sheet of paper
was serenely slumbering,
while whispering to the wind:
“What a bliss to be locked in
this haven,
& not between
two delinquent merciless hands!”

 

Author Bio:

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared in The Bamboo ForestThe Camel Saloonphantom kangarooBoySlutThe Rusty NailYes,Poetry, Shot Glass Journalthe fib reviewInk Sweat and TearsMad SwirlEskimo Pie, & other ezines. He also writes flash fiction for the Six Sentence Social Network—http://sixsentences.ning.com/profile/AliZnaidi.

a poem by David Greaves

Vertebrae

once was: sitting at a window, moths pressing against the glass, their thumbprint undersides like something intimate/something obscene, the valley a blacked-out fissure, a shrug

or: remembering a city gone fishtank, sprawling Devonian, pilgrimages to the walls watching scars pale through coil and fluke, from india rubber onto bone, tracing shine, would it ever be enough

or: the inevitability of feathers, rattling quills, blooded feet, did they flute alike in the dawn, if I have to ask

or: luck of the warm blood every time virus rears its monolithic back

or: hearing that the double helix was a dice roll, that the whispers passed across the strands could be picked up and heard and repeated and framed xeno-nucleic, could sound something new

or: was it delusion in the jump cut, will we slow ourselves before the mantle cracks to rest

or: sitting at the same window and a moth on the outside sill dead in a cluster of itself, dry legs, tangled wings, mouthparts to the air and for a second I thought the valley seen from this angle could almost have been an embrace, and for a second I thought protein scrawled out the nowhere name of time

 

Author Bio:

David Greaves is a 22-year-old writer whose work has appeared in the ‘Verge’ 2011 fiction anthology and the ‘From Glasgow To Saturn’ journal. His prose-poetry pamphlet, ‘Hinged’, was released by the New Fire Tree Press in 2011. He is originally from the North but his accent needs work.

Two Poems by Kristen McHenry

Theme

After: “Now, Discover your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

 

Oasis

You sense the famine in empty veins of leaves. Bone-birds summon you from frozen wires. Your restless need for banquets may not be logical but you understand the hollow tuck in their downy gloss of wings. You carry smoke and bells with grace. When faced with complex factors, you draw down mica and paint spirals on all locked gates in sight. Your friends call you ghost orchid, amethyst, cleric of water wheels and bright fat plums. Some are puzzled by your sprawl of bread and lilacs, but still consume your bounty. It’s your nature to know the genus of every hunger, to shimmer in the distance without effort. For you starvation is abstract. If necessary, you will grind the hulls yourself.

 

Star Language

Patron saint of planetariums, you negotiate the chatter of the cosmos with gentle instinct, you watch over those who watch the night from telescopes and bonfires, and send their wild prayers to Nut. To you it’s nothing, this holding of a billion silver murmurs, this rapt interpretation of the furies of the sky. You’re counted on for your precision in the loom of star ancestors, each stitch forms a story that is granted and re-told. Some would say you speak too quickly but you know full well the urgency. You cannot stop speaking prophecy for the stars have charmed your tongue. You are bridge and lullaby, and we will free-fall in your sound.

 

Blue

And not just cooling shades of sooth-song, but white blue of rage, warning blue, what comes to us in spits and sparks, danger of first illumination, wild ignition of touch and blissful transfer. Light to use your earthen body as its holy host. Blue of over-worn, blue of standing on the shore in late December twilight, blue of eggs and Sunday sweaters, blue of lone boys and low note afternoons in the only open bar, blue of going home, blue of intimate winters, blue of the enlightened heron, who keeps exquisite equilibrium with cobalt sky and pond.

 

 

The Anesthesia Technician in Retirement

 Before death, the counting. If they allow it, my hands and the song of my hands. My native blessing.

To be born is one thing, but to awaken every morning: Rose of Hope, ardent bloom,  stoic and striving. To go alone each night.

I walked them over every stone low to the lapping edge. I told them to dream of Chinese noodles, grenadine and swans. The heat of my palms guided their descent.

I want to emerge magnificent again, exalted against the sunrise. Simply: to awaken in happiness.

I would chart each foot of submersion, but still they rose up terrible, slammed to the surface, yet to shift from their underskins: monster, newborn, terror-wrecked.

Now I am yanked each morning from the underworld, hag fish, thrashing on the brown water, battling air with my soft gray teeth.

Later they thanked me, the ones who shattered intact.

 

 

Author Bio:

Kristen McHenry is a Seattle-based poet, fiction writer, and day-jobber. Her work has been seen in literary magazines including Bare Root Review, Numinous, Tiferet, Sybil’s Garage, and Big Pulp. It’s also been seen huddling at the bottom of her sock drawer, covered in mothballs. You can find her most nights napping in front of the T.V., clutching her poetry journal as a prop.

 

 

 

Three poems by Gregory Zorko

Stitches

The jinns go into my ears and halt my copulation. I become a useless nude or a fish, angular with light.
In a veil of blue shadows that I wear by the window. The frost comes to feel my testicles.
Demons gain weight in my stomach and esophagus, like a peach flush with water.
But you are tired, a demonstration that windows make all women tired.
On another plane you would be fire in a pine forest now. But we are here and not in the place where the ostrich wears silver on its ankles.
The jinns hear all of this, blessed with wide ears and they speak:
“We want the surrender of the sun to the slower stars, and to the pace of our lives give the speed of a wheel.”
You don’t catch it, girl with stitches, you are exhausted and you barely spoke.

 

Field

Your wives are like a field for you. Approach them in the soft months, in the midst of drought and flailing pink mackerels. Guard against the possums. It is known that the possums bring their nipples into shade. Give your sons words to build fences, and your daughters tight strings to speak to the owls. Approach your women from the pine trees and from the irrigation ditch. If you go anywhere together it is better than going a thousand miles alone.

 

Allen

Iverson is hiding in a Chinese apple, but his red tattoo pulls him out. Five tigers with wings come from Xinjiang to steal him away. They rip him apart and make threes with his arms. And the fans scream out, they sound like the bells of Las Vegas.

 

 

Author Bio:

Gregory Zorko is a writer and history student.  He is currently applying to graduate schools seeking a master’s degree in European History while trying to publish more of his work.

A poem by AJ Huffman

A Rained Bow’s End

Paint
streaked sight.
Turn pink.
Blink blue.
Fight.
(Green wins.)
Over battled brick.
Building?
Misunderstanding.
Tear it down.
Try it again.
Think twin —
not twine.
Split.
Smile.

Too bad.
Flat and mute
are apparently mutual.
Not exclusive.

 

 

Author Bio:

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.comShe has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  Most recently, she has accepted the position as editor for four online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ).

 

Three Poems by Ed Go

machine gun 4

ringing pink soars
out the hole
between the crack
& the head
of the moose
in the ingot in
gettingotten
by the fool
hard enough
to walk all eyes in
middle of march
to the sea
side of swell
east of red
wood ending in
defrigeration

 

machine gun 8

ong nuk naps ack!
who got the gun?
(a shot fired, mirrored
iiiiiiiiiii liars, fore more cops
retired—)& mislaid plans
mislaid—
iiiiiiiiii unmade bands unplayed
as fire werkes lights
brighting skynight
(& more bodies underneath
iiiiiiiiii the unmade bed)
comatized above the bed
wreathed in wreathes under slight
—bloated blight—bleeting, bleeding
red as night / black is sight / bleakest
blakest poison tree / hand
cuffed free
by only three in 93
(& only those who swear by three)

that is not a riddle this
is not a that that stands amidst
the times of hands groping
gripping grabbing
iiiiiiiiigroups of three

 

machine gun 10

among the monks, rifles
piled in the pit
prepping for the parley
personally prepping the head
of monasterial affairs postpones
his personnel affair two
taking care to
not be there too
powermad the iron
clad soldiers on their air
horses over the somme

ride on antiquarian olive
eaters on clouds ascending

 

Author Bio:

Ed Go is a former schoolbus driver, exterminator, garbage man, video store clerk, mystery shopper, phone book deliverer, and singer/guitar player in a punk-folk band. He grew up in Massachusetts, Virginia, Alaska, Hawaii and Connecticut and currently lives in New York where he earns a living as a teacher (though he’s still licensed to kill bugs and transport children in the state of Connecticut). His work has appeared in various online and print journals including Underground VoicesBreadcrumbs ScabsBastards and WhoresIn Between Altered States, and The Canary, among others.

 

A poem by kurtvee

human interest story.

 

a lazy suitcase sitting & staring. im with the walls & window & door. distinterest: this, that & everything else. peak & pit & punch & pull. wear in the brow, age in the teeth. hey vanity! endentate content with the break. interrogative sentence, quick cursory squint. but no.

impulse & terror honeymoon in addling. call it a wash. minute by minute. day by day. then the claw at the wall. that drawling ascension. but maybe.

weighing significance with i’m better off. weighing existence with maybe i’m not.

 

Author Bio:

born in kansas city missouri. music is & always has, to this point, been my primary medium. i am looking in new directions i.e. words in rhythmic patterns & scribbled displays as such. all of these things have kept me alive. hands & pen & ink & paper. kurtvee.com

A poem by Virginie Colline with art by Michal Mozolewski

Lost Soul Haiku

 

rock and bark
in the forest of mouths
a lonely echo looks for its voice

 

lost in the wilderness
a land of stone and silence
with no trees in sight

 

a soul in Eden
wandering from East to West
hear the voice Timshel

 

Author Bio:

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The ScramblerThe Electronic Monsoon MagazineNotes from the Gean, Prune Juice, Frostwriting, Spinozablue, Prick of the SpindleThe Orris and StepAway Magazine, among others.

Artist Bio:

Michal Mozolewski is a visual artist working in Gdansk, Poland.

Note:

“Lost Soul Haiku” first appeared in Certain Circuits, March 2012.