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Friday 30 November 2012

Ali Znaidi

A Discovery

out of habit

a gaze fixed

on the curtain/dirt stain, a halo of


a toast to the health of unhealthy
to the health of a castrated brain

old dust/aggregate of tattoos
in the shape of a tendril

supporting a twisted skein of guilt
& injustice

out of habit/his glasses shatter—

a discovery.

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia where he teaches English. His work has appeared in The Rusty Nail, the Tower Journal, Mad Swirl, Red Fez, Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, & other ezines. His debut poetry chapbook Experimental Ruminations was published in September 2012 by Fowlpox Press (Canada). He also writes flash fiction for the Six Sentence Social Network—

Joseph M. Gant

Vitamin Z Dream 112412

chocolate silk on sale in the market
where lobster and angel hair meet
and we pray,
how youth is the scarring of tissue
and bedside—
we dream with hollowed eyed
rapture and semen; lust created.
on your
heaven, your
canopy grins.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Kevin Ridgeway

Backwoods Slum

alone in this filth
shaded by trees
the neighbors
and their sea of
broken cars
the naked children
dining on
squirrel meat
and playing
with mismatched
shoes and broken
baby doll heads,
nicotine stained
American flags
floundering above
toward the
gray black

polishing off
a magnum
of rotgut wine
the blood red ring
branded around
these lips
as you greet the
mourning of this
backwoods slum

the overgrown
to the empty
hardly noticing
the shards of
broken glass
sticking up into
these bare feet
as trucks backfire
and you disappear
in clouds of
and choke
on futility

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Zarina Zabrisky Review

There is no question that Zarina Zabrisky’s new collection of short prose, ‘Iron’, is a remarkable book. Zabrisky works with such an exactitude, a highly- tuned sensual awareness, with powerfully charged metaphor and a keen perceptual intelligence throughout. These are stories of the surreal and of the  absurdly living, breathing flesh, highly-charged and colourful cinematic tales evoking empathy with the central characters. Zabrisky makes no value judgement of the human condition and its experience, things ‘just are’, and survival is necessary, whatever the cost may be. There are no victims here, we are just passing bodies, juxtaposed against or contained within scenes, the essential humanity of the central heroines revealed in the beautiful testimonies with which she lays bare through her snap-shots of the ‘life less lived’. Zabrisky writes in such a manner as to, at once sparsely and then richly, seduce the reader, seemingly effortlessly, then strikes and one is left in the grip of her kaleidoscopic calamities: drug abuse/ hallucinogenic collapse/ desperation/ death/ danger/ yet still there is hope, in spite of... The delivery and timing building unto one of some elusive revelation that only she and the reader knows, albeit separately, the endings leaving our willing submersion open, as if slowly opening unto a fading distance, yet lingering, unfettered by definition. You can purchase it here  

Sunday 25 November 2012

Jack T. Marlowe

an everyday dirge

i greet
each day 
with a
of drift-
a face 
more real
a broken
the hours
past, the
stare of
the idiot
a poppy
in the
a pigeon 
perched on
razor wire
the taste
of spent
beneath an

after hours

closing time
is now long
past, but
the hungry
ghosts are
wild awake
and on
the move

our dark
at the void

as night
holds half
the earth
in its jaws

the stars
a gleaming
of gold


in our

Jack T. Marlowe is a gentleman rogue from Dallas, TX.  A writer of poetry and fiction and a veteran of the open mic, his work has appeared in Handful of Dust, Visceral Uterus, Red Fez, Thunder Sandwich, The Vein, Dead Snakes, Rusty Truck and elsewhere (both online and in print). Jack is also the editor/webmeister of Gutter Eloquence Magazine (

Lynn Alexander Review

A Review of 'The Non Herein' by Michael Mc Aloran can be found here

Saturday 24 November 2012

Jovan Vuksanovich

Desert Blooms
razor tongue
cat o' nine tails muse
evil licks of the lash unleashing
rude guardian of the blessed damned
I desire only you
down immoral paths I followed you with total abandon
devouring forbidden fruits of rebellion along our arrant way
willfully challenging every dangerous labyrinth of uncertain outcome
slaying vicious minotaurs of guilt and shame
and here
the many painful scars I flaunt with warrior's pride
never doubtful of our unholy love
villainous marriage
no matter the heaped up corpses’ stench of fair weather friends
blood relations
past loves
random strangers
burning out of control on the pyres of daring contrary
razor tongue
cat o' nine tails muse
evil licks of the lash unleashing
rude guardian of the blessed damned
I trust only you
don't look back lest we turn to pillars of stone
heart stopping petrified regret
attachment to familiarity
the norm
now destroyed forever
only pressing forward
deeper into the desert of no return
razor tongue
cat o' nine tails muse
evil licks of the lash unleashing
rude guardian of the blessed damned
I honor only you
bleached skeletal remnants stab through mounds of baked dirt
blooming brilliant white cactus flowers scream a skyward yes
shading pregnant dozing king snakes hissing reptile dreams
undulating multi-colored scales lazily entwining thirsty roots
dangerous solitude
hostile silence
savage nature snarling a terrible multifarious beauty
laughing wickedly at her myriad shadows dancing across our wild eyes
razor tongue
cat o' nine tails muse
evil licks of the lash unleashing
rude guardian of the blessed damned
I defend only you
hot blood straining overheated brains
ungodly smirks mask ashen faces
icy chills splinter our manic nerve ends
as this the longest day of primal rebellion roars victorious towards sunset
wandering fearless and forgotten draws mercifully to a close
saffron horizon beckons with compassionate hand
we two shall rest tonight
twin destinies bedding down well fed before a flaming mirthful hearth
home sweet home amongst the ruins of fallen ideals
holding each other close
merging bodiless in dreamless sleep
razor tongue
cat o' nine tails muse
evil licks of the lash unleashing
rude guardian of the blessed damned
I love only you

Jovan Vuksanovich is a Canadian Poet, published in literary journals in Canada, U.S.A., Europe, and India based in Montreal, QC., Canada. For the past 8 years, Jovan has been presenting his poetry in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria, and New York. In 2008, he recorded a CD of 9 poems entitled 'Deviant Melody'. October 2009, Jovan was invited to Warsaw, Poland as 'Feature Poet' (in English) to perform at 5 literary events over a two week period. Recordings of several performances can be viewed at

Friday 23 November 2012

Michael Mc Aloran

'Attributes' by Michael Mc Aloran is available to purchase here

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Kit Fryatt

Líadan & Curithir

after an anonymous Irish lyric, 9th century 

between friends must have its cause
in deed done, not a word said. 

Mired in desire & error only abiding awe delivers. 

Turning craving to advantage is not what’s meant by wish-fulfilment. 

Salvage selvedge lost me Curithir’s esteem though myself I was kind.

I’m Líadan.
I caressed (loved) Curithir.
Sheer in truth stands my witness. 

Long love kept short company. I saw to it Curithir had his fee.

On dry church shore and wooded down music to hear why here Cuirithir

can’t believe I contrived situations to Curithir’s vexation.

Don’t hide. Truth is he was my soul’s making all others I’ll lay aside

my roaring 
heart ripped into ignition
he is gone

twenty-one notes on a lost observance 
[of fire & fleet in the gathering dusk]

† an inarticulate sound, a liturgical marker, a call for attention

† from this lighted, innocent settlement to a frost unsteady realm
† as when the austringer, cutting a hawk from some let or tanglement, feels her all unrecognizing look upon him
† rooks are strongly gregarious, and mob against independent colonists, killing them if they persist in separatism
† it is said that the daughters of Ragnar Hairy-Breeks wove it in a single midday’s course, and it foretold victory with stertorous flapping, defeat with a droop
† let the women keep silence, the main body of the cord relax, the tension increase even after the limit of length is reached, the folds thin, the ligaments flutter
† a formula phrase in law
† see also, the disputed and likely spurious tradition of the ‘sin-eater’
† a battle looms
† a fair flaxen field, spears standing up like heckle-pins
† the expectancy of grass, no flight to the fist
† the second voice, coming in a bar late, enjoins almsgiving
† seven feet of ground, which is more than most men in fairness, and a few small drops of rain
† they reel from arrows
† blue flesh / blue edge / red edge / red flesh / and blue again
† the growling hound, the bating hawk, the hind heavy; the older ballad is the more tender and true in sentiment
† a brand has burnt through here

[ ]

† hell-mouth reeks may (in and out of the proper season) an heady and a womanlike scent
† weft of gut, warp of hair: the ravens’ dish
† whiter than moonlight, frost salts the thatch
† the imps fly into the hall and shake their bewildered feathers

Kit Fryatt was born in Tehran in 1978 and lived in England, Singapore and Turkey before moving to Ireland in 1999.  She now lives in Scotland.  She recently published Rain Down Can (Shearsman) and turn push | turn pull (corrupt press).  She runs the Wurm im apfel poetry events series and Wurm Press (

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Chris Murray

Eamon Ceannt Park; a cycle



Her boot leathers are wet, grass -greened.

Things have gone aground at the grove,
only the fairy-ring stands in her circle
of spectral gowns,

her parasols all caught up in a breeze of light.

Her wood-clattery heels sound
against the stones at the gate.
Against a cluster of coppered leaves;

their outsoundings , a filigree.



The park is scattered as after a storm.
The destruction is knave-wrought.

A crescent moon is inscribed into the soil
by the small grove,
a willow weeps by its exit.

And the sky is close as goose down.

The geese screel and beat overhead,
someone has sprayed yellow paint on his memorial stone.


There is a man in the stone.

The dew is playing fire at her feet,
wetting her legs.

A legion of rooks guard his stone.



The route through the groves is frozen today;
even the treetops are caught in ash.
There is no mistaking this scene for a balletic stasis.

It's stick-strewn.

A cold sun rises above the minarets 
at  park's edge.
And the sound of bells emanates from behind somewhere .

She is glad to leave,
glad to kick the ice from her feet against the stones.


The Queen's Rook.

And what if she entered that garden wearing her last veil?
The others being ripped by fierce wind and claw.

The willows lash her face
driving her into estatic groves.

The only thing seeming alive in this desolate place
Is the Queen's Rook.

He stalks above her veiled head,
his call drowning in his throat.

She heard a name.



She looks back to the stone
From thence to the furrowed hill,
It is of ordinary green.
A rook is atop the gate.

She no longer sees the far away
lit by careeling crows.

The path is different by day.


It is dark beneath the tree.


The rising sun has not yet caught
the edge of the stone.


A clutter of dry debris, a black feather
is housed there.

She would sing him if only he let her.


"Intreat me not to leave thee
Nor to return from following after thee
For whither thou goes I will go .." 

she leaves.

Chris Murray is a City and Guilds Stone-cutter. Her poetry is published in Ropes MagazineCrannóg MagazineThe Burning Bush Online Revival Meeting (Issue 1), Carty's Poetry JournalCaper Literary Journal , CanCan and the Diversity Blog (PIWWCPEN International Women Writer's Committee). She has reviewed poetry for Post (Mater dei Institute), Poetry Ireland and Chris writes a poetry blog at which is dedicated to the writing, editing and translation of women writers. She is a member of the International PEN Women Writer’s Committee, and the Social Media coordinator and Web-Master for Irish PEN.

Monday 19 November 2012

David McLean

Laughing at Funerals
'Laughing At Funerals' by David McLean can be purchased here

Sunday 18 November 2012

Anthony Seidman


The Bidxáa transforms into fawn, heifer, filly…this is the cocoon stage.  Each month she then blossoms: woman with wide hips, breasts pendant and moonshine hair.  She bathes at midnight, her scent overpowering like cinnamon, mezcal, fields after rain. River water glistens on her limbs while her skin simmers the thirst of adolescent boys. 


There is nothing subtle about vinegar; its odor bites the air, and its acidity burns the throat the way salt sears into asphalt after snow has melted, leaving stains like semen dried on sheets.   The ruddiest vinegars are tears mixed with russet hickory, grapes crushed in a fist, or springtime hiking up her skirt to reveal the hyacinths and shade that smells of rain and mud under fern leaves.  There is something impassible about the maker of vinegar whose hands scoop the acetic slime that is like blood and fluids a new father sponges from the bathroom floor onto which his wife oozed the drainage after labor, and he squeezes it into a bucket of cold water.  The maker of vinegar denied himself the ostentatious rose, or the odorless glass of water that on blinding afternoons glistens with cleanliness and transparency.  He opted for the turning, for the dark joy that the butcher must also suck in, like a deep inhalation after tears, when he beholds the meat aging dun-gray, like the flakes inside an old walnut shell.  I swig tart balsamic, or sharp cider vinegar, and the flies I once swallowed erupt from my sugared throat, scalding my laughter raw, and my teeth black with wolves.  I dab white vinegar behind my ears and the fat-thighed sirens of Roualt in garrets gray as congealing lard teach me about the alleyways leading to smoke and nausea, and the wilted trumpet of deflated delectations.  It takes a brave man to brew what doesn’t infuse the joy of wine, nor the comfort of milk, but only the even thudding of autumn shedding leaves, or sea-spume splurting into the split boards of a sinking argosy, trunk-loads of gold amulets and sheepskin charters washing back and forth in the water rising evenly, like some Homeric simile that takes five lines to lap over into its outcome.  No, there is nothing soft about vinegar, nothing soothing.  Not her slipper’d left foot, but the blunt gaze of Olympia.  Not the lips against the cut finger, but the stinging disinfectant.  I want to run vinegar through my teeth, and dip my eyes at last in such acid. I want to rub it over my limbs and chest so that butterflies will shatter while the crows and ants adore me, swarming in raucous beauty.    


I sleep like a family without a father, an orphan who clutches the fingers of his mother the color of ivy. Hinge clicks open, and crows are unleashed, staining the page black.  I write what shatters, a goblet or the cool shell of a snail.  After rain, earthworms are untied, and the earth opens her jaw so that I can imagine the congealing liquids in the iris of a dead dog. I spill open, like spiders stretching from the silk-sack eggs, or hair wafting of a drowned virgin, her skin peeling against the teeth of icy water.  Because it rains inside the poem, and I cup my palms during this downpour, yet don’t gather enough to wash the dirt from my sleep.  Hungering, emaciated like a candle burnt to the wick, I discover language, stale and with as much sweetness as a piece of bread, with as much nourishment.  Slice of bread can’t feed a family.

Anthony Seidman is the author of three collections, including the recent Where Thirsts Intersect, published by the Bitter Oleander Press.  Readers interested in my work can find poems and translations in such journals as Slipstream, The Bitter Oleander, Skidrow Penthouse, Nimrod, The Black Herald and on-line in Alligatorzine

Saturday 17 November 2012

Carolyn Srygley-Moore

Construction Sites

Forgotten winds
bearing golden sawdust
of construction sites. Forgotten sense
of treachery         midst saw & sills
yellow electric wires, live. At University

I would walk the weight of oranges, crates of oranges, walk the shape.
I would walk the prongs of anchors, bales of anchors, walk the shape.
In half-built constructions, I would sing songs for the weeping Lady.

Night would close-in, calling, softly.

My best friend had nearly died in an automobile accident.
Our friend John had been driving by the river, headlights switched off,
saying he could trace the curve in imagination. Memory
fails however. Memory fails, failed, the boy in the backseat was beheaded.
The girl holding his hands the weight of his hands
held in her memory a headless body       for an instant
before her sense of self & other capsized.

I sang, in half-built homes,                amidst tiers of white string knotted
& holding the myth of terraces together, sang for my friend.
She vanished into the dunes, the sculpted white dunes, later, knowing
a kind of God. Healing in that manner.
I sang, My Lady, Our Lady.

It would be some time before I too would hold the hand of the dead.
It would be some time before. Sawdust like cigar smoke in my lungs.
Gold reap of time. Gold reap of substance.

Let us know some wine.
The addict's knowledge of wine.

All the World is a Banquet (some poet once said)

or across the street
a transistor radio.   Or is that voice, voices
converging on the nape of her neck
where the black cage shatters?
Cage of glass bones & cartilage.

We go for drives in the soft rain
like voices calling, softly. We stop
at fluorescant diners, she orders nothing,
her fingers curl in upon her palms
that she touches nothing....Yes.
I too have been thin enough
that people assumed I did not eat.

I ate. I ate voraciously.
I ate the rind of the voices rattling in my paper skull.
I ate the pulp of the ripe mangoes turning dark
in my palms. I ate what others thought
could not be devoured: shadows,
as the stone is lifted,
as the stone is lifted.

Even the skulls of demons
ground to white rice
were salt to fish & nuts.
All the world was a banquet
as my stomach growled,
chyme's acid, eating
its own lining, chyme's acid
eating its own disloyal & transporting

Tell the Prisoner

Tell the Prisoner
there is a key.     He has locked his copy in a golden box.
What reasons are there to run toward the sea?
Earthquakes move us inward, or so I would think.
Toward the fresh water bodies.  Toward the finger sized black flashlights
that write in the dark but never die.

There is a talk of a big storm.       Some say it.
A storm out of a Stephen King novel.       Winds, pounding the shore,
lighthouses dissolving beneath the snow.   The search for light
begins, never ends. Light unlabeled.  Light unbroken.
Love, Love. I checked the morning news. One inch of snow
in Saratoga.       Blanket the horses.         Blanket the doves.

Tell the Prisoner there is a key.            He will feel manipulated
by the devils.          He will feel only slight relief.  He has more
reasons than ever to run toward that big paper balloon
called the sea.          It eats his features.        It yawns his face
into its suction cup            & takes him back
to the village        bicycles built for a thousand     back to his cottage
inland     where the lighthouse salts meat   where the dirty white dog
named Salt          walks around the circus poles       pissing
gentle relief.              Prison either makes you believe or pares
your belief from you.       I have been there.      It named me "who"
it tamed my cussing soul.

Carolyn Srygley-Moore is the author of four books of poetry, the most recent being Miracles of the Blog, published by Punk Hostage and available from Barnes & Noble online. She has been widely published internationally, including in pages of Estuary and Thus Spoke the Earth. Carolyn lives in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, & rescue dogs.