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Friday 30 March 2012

Mark Blaeuer-

Vendors on Xanadu subway
hawk their effigy food,
plasticware and paper napkins
next to a ticket booth.
A balladeer by a staircase
sings out the wrongs of our planet.
She holds an object carved of polished wood,
open at both ends, hollow as a drum:
a woman’s torso.
Punctuating lament, she
hits her eerie cylinder with a stick.
We all walk home, hungry.
What Once Was Darkness
Winter dawns,
radioactive blood,
rare choice in the palette
of Erebus
imbued with television glow.
Mark Blaeuer, a gentleman of 58 who lives in the wilds of Arkansas, has had poems in dozens of magazines over the years, including: Asphodel Madness, The Camel SaloonThe Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and The Found Poetry Review.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Rachel Kearney-

The Little Things

Ripple effects are falsity when
truth is lying. Dominoes
topple like meteoric waterfalls,
if waterfalls were acidic.
                        You've etched those words
                        of neglect, of nothing. And
                        they haunt. Like
waterfalls, they cascade from
the eyes, from the mouth,
from the mind. It follows
current by current
streams of bullet gold
                        and of silverfish minutia.

   We, of harshened callous
run intersecting to all. Ink
runs black. To
            run down faces and
   raccoons on the street. What
we do and have done
   will run across us like street rats.
   Like water to fall
and rusted clocks to
   Gravity to fall.


Mesh doors stop the
   light from ripping us away.
Our safety is the
promised refuge. Dotted
lines drew us away
            from the point of ammunition.
The range of attributes
   shimmers from silver to
black as if fish
   possessed no scales. Only
our light is forfeit
   in spotted brightness.
The sunsets are falling
again, and brown dust
            sands my lungs.
We share fault in this

Rachel Kearney is a writer based in the southwestern United States. 
She is currently writing the last few thousand words of her novel, and 
has work either forthcoming or published in Poetry Quarterly, Eunoia
Review, and Quantum Poetry Magazine, among others...

Monday 26 March 2012

Merecedes Webb-Pullman-

The Servant’s Son

a car park transaction in carbide yellow
where illicit acts glow, grow flesh
spread power, revelation on revelation
into a tower of illumination too bright to see

profane in your work clothes
you tend to the nest’s outside

our blood under their thumb, sad brother

sighted violins close into claws
as silver fungus pours poisons
into cubicles solidly blue or green

strippers shake their tails, impotent as eunuchs
to suckle seconds; the earth is overwrought
here is neglect no brother can redress ---

flesh that's hot to touch: pale fruit, bleached seeds

in dance halls vast as vistas, masses
converge among the trees, rising up

I listen in to a closed system and miss
square, red, good-natured

brother, bride, from this mirror ball
with aphrodisiacs of sour mushrooms

emperors dismiss your every season

Saturday 24 March 2012

Carolyn Srygley-Moore-

I Have Seen Her, he said
                           I have seen her he said           the girl
with black hair jagged as spider-legs
walking with          a black book chained to her eyes
language chained to her hips.
                         I have seen her he said.
muttering as God must mutter           talking
to herself he said.      She seemed  a glassblower's vase
in her Poe T-shirt:          WHAT WOULD POE DO
it read        a telltale heart as the emblem
around which all logic revolved.
                         O I have no illusions       he said
she could never love a man of need like myself.
Yet I have seen her        her torn Levis
disparaging the mention of a certain truth
as truth is never certain.
I watched her from my car            parked before the pink dunes
began            I watched her from my car
as one watches a random mote of ash
as one sets fire to the           sea
She was one without history.
It was dark:                 the moon could not disentangle herself
from her own ventricles of light        hinged doorways
pulsing  pulsing.

Man is a Social Animal, she said

I worry about everything       you say.
If the curtains are translucent      as water is
if our forms are bent as a fallen stick
to the onlooker.         You know, the cat
provokes the dog:  struts about the house
bats a bottle cap
as the dog, watching          trembles.
I worry about everything.
On the other side of the windshield
all is the norm
North Korea     has backed down.
Isolation works             as a tool
by denmother & world powers alike.
Man is a social animal              the anthropology major
said              in the kitchen
as she poured herself a vodka.
What book is that from            I said
& walked the stairs to my room
where the graveyard               existed
in Rilke & Hemingway &
I know it is that simple, really:        the new dog
bites the older dog
& gets the back turned toward her.
I worry about everything.
It is March              our first storm
for the season.         The March hare
rattles his paws.
It is that simple, really.
Even the hound-dog purrs.

The Question of Photographs, Distance, Mistakes
I have sketched, drawn, painted
the blue oak  outside the farmhouse       some streets down
some years away. The art instructor said
"the sign of an artist is the ability to take a mistake
               & make something of it!"     I worked for a month
on the soldier's left boot         until it was such an error

I changed it to a waiting dog.        Still, the essence

remained:    One soldier holding another
as one bears a vase of roses still-living,
roses on the verge of brittle black.
            Yes the second soldier was weeping.
It was a photograph            jungles of 60's Vietnam.       I always wonder

how photographers distance themselves

from the subject., ie., the soldier weeping,
the girl afire running the streets of Saigon:   & pause, snap
the picture.            One has to have a sensibility
                of what defines history         I guess
our perception of history. I gave that pencil drawing to a girl

in college; perhaps it has burned

like a safehouse to the sandy yellow ground.

Carolyn Srygley-Moore is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Songs Scared from the Conch // as Voices Carry. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Web nominee.  Widely published, Carolyn lives in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. Interviews with Carolyn are accessible via the Google machine..

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Chris Guidon-


Waking, with the ghost of a starling, beating
like a heart in your throat. The dream again,
in which you hack your family to pieces.
in devout November darkness, as a figure
steps from your conscience into the road
and dissipates like smoke, before the crack
of bone and sinew.
                                   Your standing on the edge
of something. The compulsion to jump
when jumping would shatter into fragments
the living mirror of your memory. The dreams
return, cold as knives.
                                        Go outside. Sit on the roadside.
Watch the faces
                                         flicker past.
                    Like ribbons falling
                                             from very high buildings.
A precursor to the snow.

Katie's Baby

I was snatching glimpses of her, like a stain on the sofa, pin-eyes;
lost in the chase. I was trying to see that glow people talk about.
I suppose I was just hoping to see a change. No one spoke about

what she was doing. How could we? Perhaps I was the only one troubled
by the thought of something so hopeless from the outset. A bird hatched
into a cage. A nubile shoot sealed in cement, never given a chance. Later

that night she sucked me off whilst Jack gouged-out on the sofa. I asked her
don't you feel like your poisoning something pure?
Don't you feel like that's the only sin there is?

She told me to fuck her. To loom like her father and then hold her
like her mother. She took it mainline afterwards, twisting and
shuddering more than I or Jack or her father could ever make her.   

She Brought the Dog in From Outside

She brought the dog in from outside
and sat back down beside me on the sofa.
It had been whining and yelping
and scratching flakes of gloss from the door.

It crawled up between us and fidgeted.
I pretended to like the thing, became boisterous.
Like a metaphor for life it bit me. Sharp
and wholesome pain. Pain like righteousness,

finding me out. Pain is cleansing. Like sex, or fire,
or a coke-can, shaped and crafted by unsteady hands,
punctured and sacrificed and made new. cup it
to your mouth like some sacred chalice,

inhale the cold white smoke. Feel it seething
and festering inside you. Exhale, watch your life dissipate
into a room. Into a memory half remembered half
imagined. A vague light through the shades

where she once stood; a dog chain in her hand.

Red & White

I watched a priest hit by a car.
                And lay there beside him at the roadside.

His freshly ironed shirt. Starched. Lifeless.
                                  The colour of death and life and of sin.

Blood ran down his face.
                                                   The eyes distant, hollowed-out.

Blood staining the red shirt black.
                 As pigeons broke and clapped in the crisp white air.

               We lay side-by-side, arms stretched like crucifix.
Without panic. Two men -watching doves.

               She took everything when she left I told him.
It's taken till now to wash away

                   the blood.
Red, thinning to nothing in white.

Monday 19 March 2012

Sk Iyer-

On the Far Aside

mind prods comely inspiration
unzips a wound enters a world of pain
in deepness the devil's paladin
beats luminous teeth in the fire

fading flicker alters the beach
beyond the black bark of the trees
journey of water continues
and he loses his way

leaches cavort about
the edges of sadness
curls of huge waves carry
him to the calmness of white shore

a bell rings somewhere
the sound wanders aimlessly
riding an argonaut in the air
of the coetaneous urban blight

Kafkaesque Departure

The note lying on the table reads -

In a world where ladders need no rungs
staircases need no steps, every step
is a belief, we believe, our life
is ours, only ours. We have the right
to use it and to dispose of it.

Travelled and lived in many countries,
made more money than thought of and spent
every penny on things that could
bring happiness and satisfaction,
leaving behind no debts or liabilities,
but money enough for our funeral
in the envelope there on the table -
our launching pad to another world.

Having lived a full life we now dangle
on a piece of nylon rope with two nooses,
for us this world has nothing more to enjoy.

SK Iyer, a commerce graduate, is presently leading a retired but busy life in Pune, India. Several of his poems have been published/are forthcoming in Poetry Kit Magazine, Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Magnapoets, StepAway Magazine, mgversion2>datura, Fade, WestWard Quarterly, Pens on Fire, Heavy Hands Ink, Red Poppy Review, Red River Review, Poetry Kite, Poetry24, Sarasvati, Camel Saloon etc.  He is a member of PK Poetry List, UK.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Candi V. Auchterlonie-

Should you remember
in retrospect-
the gossamer, or
the ghostly silence,
of her
the glass house in the hills
tiny crystal knobs over brass- secret kept,
unbroken stave, marble smooth-
the aqua eyes of her, turning, turning
with the magnetic poles,
milk blue- arctic carvings, her quartz bones,
webs of electric violet, an effigy
thickening, thickening her
molasses speech.
Slow, slow
to re-animate
though the intentions were there
all along; slow to step
only meant she was faster to fall again.
Who will remember the hypnotic carousel of your
mutual speech,
or the absurd mechanics
of your personal wills unspun?
What have you done...
The lemon white sun
it- stains, stains
an old oak sky husked of its green,
reminds her of you-
All she needs now to forget again,
is a stitch of iris
to fill her
terrarium mind, blue.

Friday 16 March 2012

RC Edrington-

After Heroin 

2:16 a.m. 

2 Latino street whores
ignore the stale, downtown rain 
as though it were the familiar piss
of some $20 trick washing away 
the dime store make-up
off their sullen, sunken faces. 
They huddle together, stay warm
in the glowing desire for heroin. 

2:28 a.m.
Still no cab. 
Traffic splashes by
in random, uncontrolled spurts 
like a 16 year old boy
stumbling upon sex for the 1st time
between the sticky pages
of a worn magazine. 

2:35 a.m. 

This is day 7
of my alleged detoxification, 
& this soiled mattress
laying limp on this worn wooden floor 
reeks a bit more of flesh
than it once did.
Sometimes I sleep to dream of mirrors 
but awake to only windows, 
as though this city
were some extension of my soul, 
& like the cheap, petty artist 
I search for a metaphor of self
in the broken streetlights 
& trash scarred alleys... 
in the disembodied
& disemboweled voices
that grip me from sleep 
to pull me into
these sweat drenched nights 
to watch 2 whores wait for a cab 
beneath this hotel window. 

2:43 a.m.
Seven days & I feel clean again, 
but I still don't trust myself... 
it somehow turned on me 
like a dropped stiletto in a gang fight. 
Turned & twisted like a secret 
whispered into the ear of a lover 
who doesn't need me anymore. 

But I have no lovers now.
No friends.
No enemies. 
Just demons with fangs like syringes
& voices like drunk fathers 
reminding me I'll never amount to shit. 

3:01 a.m. 

2 whores drift like ghosts
into the backseat of a yellow cab. 
I light a stale
hand rolled cigarette
& fall back into bed 
beneath the blinking cliche of a neon sign.
There is a "vacancy" here.
Spent Angel Blues 

In this room of things which strain to move 
time lies overdosed 
on the cold cement bathroom floor. 
There are no cigarettes left 
to ease its passing. 
No songs remain 
to fill the empty spaces 
where once drifted the subtle strokes 
of its blood beat. 

There is only stillness, 
a tea spoon of cheap Mexican heroin 
and memories... 

At 29 
my friends are dead 
strung-out, jailed, or 
trapped in between 
the cynical Styrofoam walls 
of mental institution 
like freshly hooked trout 
in an ice chest 
waiting to be gutted.
They've left me here, alone 
to only the stale glow of a butane flame 
in which to perfect this dying art. 
To sing anarchistic odes to our youth 
shattered like a glass syringe 
against a red bricked schoolyard wall. 

the memory of Traci haunts me. 
The night they found her 
naked blood caked body 
tossed away like a cum stained Kleenex 
right on the sidewalk 
in front of 100 screaming tourists 
who till this day don't believe 
the pretty bright lights of Hollywood 
are fueled by the charred mounds 
of runaway teenage flesh 
searching to fulfill childhood dreams 
but only end up filling their tiny orifices 
with whatever perverted disease 
the man with the $20 bill wants. 

So I continue to walk 
this death row promenade of memories 
perhaps the way 
a sergeant walks a post war graveyard 
wondering if all these bodies 
should somehow add up to something more 
than a few medals for his chest... 
or a few scribbled lines in my notebook. 

And as the heroin begins to burn 
like napalm through my veins 
blood rises in the thin syringe 
like a scarlet mushroom cloud 
over Hollywood Blvd. 
and for the spent angels of the apocalypse 
another personal Armageddon 
draws temporarily 
always so fucking temporarily 
to a close...
RC Edrington's latest collection, "Apocalypse Generation", was published by Tainted Coffee Press and is available through Zygote In My Coffee. His website is It contains links to his previous collections, reviews of his work, and links to journals and magazines he has been published in. 

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Sarah Crewe-

Rose Quartz

warm to the touch -
             weather beaten

i found you
slither of silicon dioxide
cake icing playing pretty
peekaboo behind the
water tower

heart chakra playgirl
     pink pearl clitoral

you're blushing
place under pillow
your age a rotten tooth
plunge in water
for beauty elixir

wedding day rock fantasy
          red ruby understudy

fairy dust walls
the city's powder sky
blends candy floss with dirt
perfume puff palace
my little Istabraq

dilute my first colour
              i am aqua rosa


touch wood. her heart
line is splintered,
spliced. mal de mer.

make a rocking chair
from the pier head

skirt slips in waves
parachute dress
jellyfish kicks

blue, compass, moon
mild harmless

never did grow
into her face

eye socket eels
platypus tootsies
canines.crooked rot

cold dead hands at
seaforth freeport

legs thrashing out
kicking up sand
darkside horse trail

sea bed hair
home at last

Sarah Crewe is 30 and from the Port of Liverpool. She has a chapbook forthcoming with Erbacce Press. Her work has appeared at Red Fez, The Camel Saloon, Erbacce, Streetcake, Sunfish and 3:AM. She likes sea air, strong drinks and cheap dresses.

Sunday 11 March 2012

David Mac-

We Are Waiting to Burn

I only love you when you are burning,
When we are both on fire.

The way we spread, out of control,
The danger of our love.
But after,
When we smoulder,
Blackened, charred,
Smoking, and we
Shake ashen debris from ourselves,
There’s nothing left.                 

I told you I was bored from the start,
I told you not to put me out,
I told you not to save me.
I told you this.
I told you               this.

But now we’re soft and weak and harmless
Once more
And there is no love.

This is it,
The apathy has come.
You can’t stop,
Can’t comprehend,
Can’t ignore,
There is nothing worse.

What did we do?

You see, you have to wake
Up from time to time
In the world and know,
That it’s only a matter of time
Before you catch fire,
Before you are set alight,
Before you will burn
So bright

Fist Full of Sleep

On a bed
she waits
with a fist full of sleeping pills.

My love
how to know
if I’ll ever wake up once more?

‘Just sleep’
she says.
She wants to rob me of my dreams

and replace
with some death.
I don’t know how long I want this to last.

Drunk At Last

your face numbs
to the world

your skull breathes

you look out of your
hollow warm chamber

and you smile
for a long second

but you only think you smile
we see the rest

Friday 9 March 2012

Carolyn Srygley-Moore-

Contemplating "Freaks", & what that entails
I am no hermaphrodite
but I feel for any being left on the hillside to die
just for the body they inhabit
in its unholy divine maiming.
Once I watched the movie Freaks
& cried throughout, feeling
the cupped orange shell of the emptied prayer
ricochet through my hollowed bones.
Despite my blue eyes, my long blonde hair
Despite my five fingers five toes
& no fear of water
I crawled like the one without legs
I ate swords like the one with the flexible esophagus
I swallowed fire like winter.
Are you crying my mother said         that time
I was sixteen & crouched in a corner
behind a white chair          are you weeping
aren't you happy? Of course
I am happy       I said.
& whom is one protecting
when one lies like that:   one's mother
or oneself?           I watched the movie Freaks
in someone else's living room.
I have always lived in someone else's living room.
I remove the cloths from the clocks
I remove the sleeping tarp from the bird cage.
I weep for those who are left behind
on the Trail                  on that Trail
leading up the mountain in Lake George
marked with red, the cedar
as if marked for war.

Ghosts & Effigies

They say this house was built in 1780.

I see fractions of light sometimes
moving against the windows
as ghosts would move.
But I don't believe in ghosts any longer.
Not ghosts of the dead, anyway.
But echoes of response
echoes of answer.             Where were you
when I was stranded by the river
the bank filled with twisted wood & the memory of napalm?
The river was rising        my heart was frothing
with a rabid fear.     Where were you
when the girl living in the house behind us
disappeared         only a white sneaker carried on the current
remaining?            Surely
we are more than effigies of a lost America
carried, burning            down foreign streets.
Every lover has another side
to him.           O in the kisses of daybreak
every lover has another side.

Threats & Confidences of Mirrors

1)  Strange        watching oneself from a distance

a girl talking, laughing, making love
catching the snow on fire.
I have walked past shopfront windows many a time
& wondered who was that person passing
to my left or right             who was that person walking

right in front of me?          Earlier

today: seated in the living room
with all the mirrors in another place
I thought this is a good age, my age.
I am no longer so afraid.

Ah even the snow even the fire

were once my nemesis.

2) I brought the mirrors inside

from the back yard
where the door seller waits always
for my fear to brandish itself.
I brought the mirrors indoors.
I was no longer apprehensive of that instant when
they hold glass before one's lips
to see if one is exhaling.
To see if one is past the point of need.

Carolyn Srygley-Moore is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Songs Scared from the Conch // as Voices Carry. She is a Pushcart and Best of the Web nominee.  Widely published, Carolyn lives in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, and three dogs. Interviews with Carolyn are accessible via the Google machine..

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Misti Velvet Rainwater-Lites

Zoo Saturday

Mommy drags self into now to prove love.
Boy only has four years of memory.
Four fat decades of memories are too
much morbid metal realm.
Satanic rock spirit.
Hollow wood eyes.
Bat shit crazy peep show plead.
Mixing Saturn business with Venus pleasure
under black silk Neptune net.
Swallow whiskey fire for common courage.
Shallow mermaid witch, an artist by default.
Such debauched wallow.
Sorrow stabs tiny knives up and down expired wife spine.
Hold breath past lion enclosure close sunstung eyes
until monkey theater is over
carry ice numb heart to roaring parking lot.
Daddy has the key.
Door much too
hot to open.


Reddest Apple Writhing With Worms 


The description could have been more concise, more heft
in the hand, but I was not seeking, not streaking through
the market all ambitious with shopping cart zoom.
I put perfume on it, daisies, kitty cat stickers
even though I scream at strays, discourage them
from hanging around my lawn living casual as they do.
I would have written in bold black:

Masochist. Married. Might be in love with an ex-pat
living in Berlin, never smelled or tasted the man
so can't say for sure. I specialize in curling up on
couches feigning sleep while men laugh raucous on the phone
with clever, clever girls posing as women...
maybe they're addicts living in Mommy's attic or Daddy's basement...
the point is, stars fizz in the sky like the kind of champagne
they sell in specialty cheese and chocolate shops
when these girls laugh because they are clever, clever
and they know it
they know they have it in spades
with their tinkly laughter and tiny feet.
I'm not the kind to research these sirens then throw ammunition
against them at your triple locked much mess,
so much blatant disrespect.
Oh, you know I'd send a Get Well Soon card soon after.
But sure.
I'm that.
I'm there.
Small and not sleeping on your couch
taking notes
smirking to myself
glad I am not in love with you
or anything similar.

Kissing is important, more important than jokes.
You do not get an A+ or even a C-.
I'm afraid I would have to flunk you for that
and a few other things I am too forgetful
to mention.

It's never a good start, going from the airport to a fast food restaurant

buzzing with flies. They're waiting for us to die, ya see.
From there to topless bars booming the wrong songs.
How many shades of wrong can you find in one paint by blunders?
Sharing a bath in a too small tub...yes, this was charming
when I was nineteen and in love with the man armed
with the bar of soap.

In black cursive scrawl I would add:

I don't miss anything about you.
I miss the shoes, my shoes, left behind
like some kind of thumb of the nose
in your guest bedroom.
...I hope I get those back.



That December day when all the monuments crumbled loud into the sea I used my last token to call you because you told me I could. You would answer you would return and there would be room enough air enough light enough food enough love enough for us all. I would not crumble but ascend. I called but you were in a meeting. You have excelled always at making the honest dollar. I looked out the hospital window with swollen eyes. That was my blood all over the sky. There is a tombstone I have not left for that is where you left me when I fell and failed to ascend. I tried to crawl. I called but there was no answer. A veritable hell of carnage can be traced back to that missed call.