Monday, September 22, 2014

New Poetry by Ivan Jenson










Velvet Clown

My desires
will not be
contained
by the 
fig leaf
of public
modesty
and my 
wants will
not lie
wasted
on the cement
like a cross-addicted
cross-dresser
and my scent
will not be 
covered by
soft soap
and Old Spice
my vibration
is so
sizable it
sets off 
a seismograph
and it will trigger
an after-life
aftermath
long after 
my laughter
turns into 
a chuckle
and then
a trickle
of a giggle
and then
a sigh of
relief
because
this whole
self-serving
self-deprecating
prank 
backfired
on me
when I slipped on my 
own literary
banana peel



- Ivan Jenson 2014



Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled “Absolut Jenson” for the brand’s national ad campaign.  Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 450 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson's poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two new novels by Ivan Jenson will be published hardcover and will be available for purchase at bookstores worldwide.  Ivan Jenson's website is: www.IvanJenson.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney










Twin Girls, 1948

Beth was always different
marching as she did
to an armless drummer.

Her sister Kate marched
to another drummer,
one with arms on certain days 

but never with a drum 
that caught the sticks Kate 
kept in the air flailing.

When the girls were young
their mom and dad took them out
for walks on Sunday

afternoons in summer.
The girls waved to butterflies
but never to anyone else.

It was hard for other kids
peering from porches
to understand the problem.
When the twins were small
they didn't call it autism. 
It had no name on my block.

Now the illness has a name
and different medications
that sometimes temper

but never cure.
The girls are women now
old and living in a big home

with others in a small band
some still playing instruments
no one else can see.


- Donal Mahoney 2014


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, he has had poetry and fiction published in various publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/


Monday, September 15, 2014

New Poetry by Christine Brandel










CINEMATIC
 
O you silly little, just a boy, she can pick you
up and move you across the floor -- there's a mark
there, did you hit it when he pretended to hit you,
like someone once did not pretend to hit her?
You act like you are clever, but she is the one
who solved that puzzle. You act like you love,
but her heart is bound with twine. You act this way,
that way, because you are an actor. She is not. She lives.
She speaks on telephones. She hits glass and it breaks.
She writes. She beats metaphors like corpses until they
no longer breathe, and her poems end like suicides.


- Christine Brandel 2014



WE ARE ALL BIG BOYS NOW
 
On Monkey Island, the mothers groom their young. When grown,
monkeys tend to each other: they clean and scratch and stroke
to maintain good hygiene and to form a bond. Social grooming
releases a chemical that relaxes the monkeys. It's scientific,
you can look it up if you don't believe me.
 
         It is not her job to keep you clean. It is not her job to pick
         the dirt and scales you let cover you. It is not her job
         to keep you protected from parasites and regret.
 
When grown, monkeys tend to each other.
 
         We are all big boys now.
 

- Christine Brandel 2014


Christine Brandel is a British-American writer and photographer. In 2013, she published her first collection, Tell This To Girls: The Panic Annie Poems, which the IndieReader described as a "well-crafted, heartbreakingly vivid set of poems, well worth a read by anyone whose heart can bear it." To balance that, she also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rants and raves through her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin. More of her work can be found at clbwrites.com.

 

New Poetry by William G. Davies Jr.










Labor Day

Water in the pool
is murky, still.
The pump off.
Marigold petals flitter
beneath the surface as Koi.
A diving board
splays the end
where once she cleaved
to her freshly risen breasts,
gone, but for clods of grapes
basking, as is their way
in slanted light.


- William G. Davies Jr. 2014


WG Davies Jr has published in The Cortland Review, Bluepepper, The Wilderness House Review, Diluted Ink, Jellyfish Whispers and many others. He is on the cusp of having a chaplet of poetry published. WG Davies Jr lives on ten acres with his wife, Theresa, of thirty-nine years and in good years they produce some fairly elegant red wine. WG Davies Jr is also 2013 Poet Laureate for Perry County, Pennsylvania. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Poetry by Kamaruzzaman










And That Was You Who Saw The World of No War, No Blood

You saw the world
In your own eyes, there was no war
No blood to love you dead
There was no darkness to shed over the roofs of cloud
No begging, no hungry bones collapsed
Into the smoke to break peace, to be in peace with you
With your breads and hone - that was your world
And that was you, and only you to give birth to eternal
YOU, and that was you...

Who tossed the coins
Of capital - who tossed the shadows of fear
Into mist and touched the thorns of flowers
With guts and heart out
To write the epic of little verse
In human chains
Of equal days and nights - you

Who only could write
The epics of no war and no blood
In your own world
You saw in your dreamy eyes and you:
Who had a dream or two - of your own
To create a world of vision
To say goodbye to all and others
To rejoice in cheers, in full

And that was you...


- Kamaruzzaman 2014


Kamaruzzaman is "self-retired, basically a nihilist", writes poetry and essays, at one time edited a polemical journal, and is currently translating the complete works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez into Bengali, One book already published, several others on the line.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

New Poetry by Ali Znaidi










An Hour-glass Sonnet
 
I had the fear that
I wouldn’t be able
to write a sonnet
about the glitzy sand
since I have found
an antiquated hour-
glass in the attic.
        
          ***
These days hour-
glasses are difficult
to find, more difficult
than finding sand grains
—victuals for fiery
furnaces of time:
 
The grate of gravel in a hologram of silence.


- Ali Znaidi 2014


Ali Znaidi (b. 1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English.  He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002 from the University of Sfax for the South.  He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translation.  His work has appeared in various magazines and journals worldwide. He authored four poetry chapbooks including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and Taste of the Edge (Kind of A Hurricane Press, 2014). Links to his published and forthcoming works can be found at 




 

New Poetry by Neil Ellman





The Mood of Now

(after the painting by Yves Tanguy)
  
Now is the time
   that all things happen
Now the beginning
Now the end
     all in this forever once
     as if there were never
     more than just this now
     at once
Now is the center
     of the gyre
     and now the edge
     expanding at the speed
     of when
Now whatever happens
     happened
     whatever will is now
     between the now and then
     the color of now
     is all there is.


- Neil Ellman 2014


Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Rhysling Award.  More than 1,000 of his poems appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

Friday, August 29, 2014

New Poetry by Brian Beatty










The End of Trouble

Everything my teachers
committed to 
their blackboards

looked to my eyes 
like a chalk outline of a body. 

Mind you, I never saw 
anyone killed

or heard so much as a rumor 
of children
actually murdered

or disappeared 

but bully threats
and that common small town fear 

of being bored to death
I’ll never forget. 

I feel chills right now. 
To my bones. Don’t you?

Bored to death is real.

If nothing more, I learned that much 
from all those unamused
teachers  

I likewise recall 
sending me to stick my nose 
in the corner

for talking to my friends 
Mark and Chris — 

two guys who both wound up dead
before forty for reasons 
I only remember don’t matter. 
 
One in prison, one just 
fucking around.

How did I survive? you wonder.   

By hiding inside 
books where I knew 
I’d never be found.



- Brian Beatty 2014


Brian Beatty's jokes, poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The Bark, Conduit, Elephant Journal, elimae, The Evergreen Review, Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney's, Opium, Paper Darts, The Quarterly, Seventeen and The Sycamore Review. He sometimes performs as a storyteller.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Poetry by Michele Seminara








Ultrasound

They used to be joyful 
the pictures of babies 
used to pertain to me.
But today my belly is swollen with portent 
and I note with unease
that my haruspex is a man. 

Female seers are reserved for life
and I am an obedient bag of death, 
viscera spread on the gritty screen
waiting to be read.

The ancient technician gives no indication;
although he seems a little kinder 
on the way out than 
on the way in...

Later  the children rolling 
like pups in the ocean of my bed 
we point at the funny photos 
of mummy's insides and say  look,
it's those black spots that are the problem.


- Michele Seminara 2014


Michele Seminara is a poet and yoga teacher from Sydney. Her writing has appeared in publications such as BluepepperTincture JournalRegime andVerity La. She is also a poetry reader for Verity La, as well as being the journal’s incoming managing editor.  She blogs at http://micheleseminara.wordpress.com/ and is on twitter @SeminaraMichele

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Poetry by Howie Good









The Heavy Shadow of Prior Encounters

I keep my voice low,
like a spy passing secrets.

When they ask my name,
address, date of birth,
I answer as if answering
might mean something.

Somewhere near here
there must be a leaden sea
and someone unknown
to me walking beside it,

carrying a blank page
for the lives I’ll never lead.


- Howie Good 2014


Howie Good's latest book of poetry is The Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He has several poetry books forthcoming, including Fugitive Pieces (Right Hand Press) and Buddha & Co (Plain Wrap Press)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A new piece by Phillip A. Ellis









Interview with John Ashbery conducted by Daniel Kane

DK:‭ ‬In‭ "‬What Is Poetry‭" ‬you write,‭ "‬Trying to avoid‭ ‬/‭ ‬Ideas,‭ ‬as in this poem‭ ‬.‭" ‬Is it possible to avoid ideas in poetry‭?

JA:‭ ‬Come on,‭ ‬Lieutenant,‭ ‬let's get out of here.‭ ‬Young man,‭ ‬run along and play.

DK:‭ ‬This makes me think about some student poetry I've read,‭ ‬in which students decide before they have put pens to paper that they will absolutely write poems about,‭ ‬say,‭ ‬their fathers hitting them on the head.‭ ‬The results are often rather predictable narrative poems that describe what happened and petition the reader to feel a certain emotion.‭ ‬I like your idea of beginning a poem without really knowing what's going to come out of it.

JA:‭ ‬No illusion.‭ ‬Lieutenant is dead.‭ ‬Kirk to Enterprise.‭ ‬Come in.‭ ‬Lieutenant,‭ ‬can you be prevailed upon to bring them the news‭? ‬All my senior officers turning against me‭? ‬Even a starship captain appreciates a compliment like that,‭ ‬Lieutenant.

DK:‭ ‬Can you tell us a little bit about the writing process behind‭ "‬What Is Poetry‭"? ‬For example,‭ ‬we've got a‭ "‬frieze of boy scouts from Nagoya.‭" ‬There is also a mysterious‭ "‬they‭" ‬in the lines‭ "‬Now they‭ ‬/‭ ‬Will have to believe it‭ ‬/‭ ‬As we believed it.‭"

JA:‭ ‬Not really.‭ ‬He seems he's overcoming his resentment.‭ ‬Kirk to Enterprise.‭ ‬Lieutenant‭?

DK:‭ ‬I'm glad you told us about the medieval town with the frieze of boy scouts from Nagoya,‭ ‬because learning that you basically made this image up out of a variety of events lets people know that they can make things up in poetry.‭ ‬This way,‭ ‬one knows one doesn't have to rely on fact all the time.

JA:‭ ‬Coronation‭?‬.‭ ‬You did what you could.‭ ‬And the great misery which you now face.

DK:‭ ‬I'm not so sure a lot of students do think that way.‭ ‬I remember having writing teachers insist,‭ "‬Write what you know‭!"

JA:‭ ‬How many‭? ‬We didn't do anything like that.

DK:‭ ‬Yes,‭ ‬that is the problem.‭ ‬I think orders like‭ "‬Write what you know‭" ‬get interpreted to mean‭ "‬Write only what you've actually experienced in real life in real time.‭" ‬It's nice to know from you that we can pick and choose among time,‭ ‬history,‭ ‬and imagination so that we can write a poem that sounds good and feels good.

JA:‭ ‬Why shouldn't they answer our questions‭? ‬They don't think we can do anything to stop them..‭ ‬Quite an enigma,‭ ‬isn't it‭? ‬Try another channel,‭ ‬Lieutenant.‭ ‬Yes it is good.

DK:‭ ‬If a teacher stopped you on the street one day and said,‭ "‬Mr.‭ ‬Ashbery,‭ ‬whether you like it or not,‭ ‬I'm going to assign‭ '‬What Is Poetry‭' ‬to my high school students and tell them to write variations on it-help me find a way to do this,‭" ‬what would you say‭?

JA:‭ ‬What happened to him‭? ‬I did,‭ ‬Gorgan.‭ ‬My beast is gone.‭ ‬It lost its power in the light of reality.‭ ‬I command again,‭ ‬and I ordered you here.

DK:‭ ‬Can people still write about flowers without sounding flowery about it‭?

JA:‭ ‬I place you in the hands of our chess master.

DK:‭ ‬I read‭ "‬the thin vertical path‭" ‬as representing predictable poetry.‭ ‬I thought you were making a funny kind of editorial comment on poetry that gives us the obvious-the‭ "‬flowers‭" ‬of conventional poetry.

JA:‭ ‬What was your impression‭? ‬No,‭ ‬what are the ingredients‭?

DK:‭ ‬Are there such things as wrong interpretations,‭ ‬or do you distinguish more along the lines of imaginative interpretations versus dull,‭ ‬unenthusiastic interpretations‭?

JA:‭ ‬Yes.‭ ‬They may walk into a trap.

DK:‭ ‬You ended‭ "‬What Is Poetry‭" ‬with a question mark.‭ ‬Are there any virtues in ending a poem with a question mark or some other sign of indeterminacy‭?

JA:‭ ‬Lieutenant,‭ ‬if I'm to be the Captain,‭ ‬I've got to act like one.‭ ‬Yes.‭ ‬They may walk into a trap.

DK:‭ ‬Is there anything you want to add to our discussion of‭ "‬What Is Poetry‭"?

JA:‭ ‬Yes.‭ ‬My ship.‭ 


- Phillip A. Ellis 2014

Monday, August 04, 2014

New Words and Pictures by Wayne H. W Wolfson


Saudade (for Marina)
At first I was trying to make my mind up where to go as I had no place to be. Initially, I was slowly swaying from side to side. Had anyone caught me, I could have pretended to merely be shifting from one foot to the other. Then my head would move diagonally to the right, my neck pulling the rest of my body after it. When everything was caught up, my head would then go to the left. This back and forth gave my body the slowed down locomotion of a tadpole swimming; both my hands, thumbs hooked on the outside were tucked into my pants pockets.


I had to cross the dance floor, no one except the bandoneon and guitara seemed to notice me so that I had to weave among the moving couples; a vast richly colored, crillion hedge maze which took me the length of one song to complete.

I look up; there were two layers of stars out tonight. The ones which dotted the green and black cords that were strung from one tree to the next all around the plaza and then those that were higher up. Higher than where even the angels swim, faintly dotting the ripe stone fruit skin colored sky. Those others were too far away and tiny to be real. Beauty too can be like that.



- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2014

www.waynewolfson.com