Monday, September 26, 2016

New Poetry by Sanjeev Sethi


Bookshelves remind me of the aloneness
of thought. In the stillness of their spines 
lies the essence of experience beckoning
bibliophiles to process their perfections, 
gleaned by grokking maze of milestones. 

Solitude prods me to pylons. Known to 
connect they suspire for itinerant members 
of the corvine to stop over or for deviations
in their dogleg. Every affiliation is emotional 
travel. Close relationships are excursions. 

- Sanjeev Sethi 2016

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world: Off the Coast, Drunk Monkeys, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, New English Review, Red Wolf Journal, Futures Trading, Right Hand Pointing, The Blue Mountain Review, The Penwood Review, Squawk Back, The Five-Two, W.I.S.H. Press, Easy Street, Novelmasters, Zarf  Poetry, Scarlet Leaf Review, Expound Magazine, Postcolonial Text, Meniscus, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

New Poetry by Sarah Law

Before the Dawn

The cat stays the colour of night.
His whiskers exquisite; his purr
blent with divine harmonics.
Of course such cats are gods.

The new day could not help herself,
she is born pallid.  She could not hold on
to her own black. She is quiet enough,
but has cried her own song to the night.

The alarm peeps, a bird with no mother,
pleading for worms. My mind’s striated
with the drag of heavy hours.  Maybe today
will glint silver, and I and the cat

will blink at our fate. Maybe today
the rain will make everything shine.
The cat’s fur stays the colour of night,
his eyes an intuitive gold.

- Sarah Law 2016

Sarah Law’s latest collection is Ink’s Wish (Gatehouse Press, 2014). She is a lecturer in English and lives in London. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

New Poetry by James Diaz

How You Play Out The Years 

The first fever you ever had
the weight of a feather
on your brow like circumspection
gone wrong
or a father with heavy hands
(puts you into the wall sometimes)
a slice in the center of your first 
and last word

we're gonna be here a while
says the lady with the kind of eyes
you learned to run away from
your mothers eyes
burned out like a bomb site
near a hovering water tower
where the kids drink at night
and star dust levels out the noise of the highway

transient daymares
all the clothes on the line
at the end of the world
can't you feel the fever taking
its sweet time
the hand print
of your father
the dry wall flaking off your sleeves
the disappearing-into-yourself act
and how
twenty years later
it still feels like the first and only real pain you've ever felt.

- James Diaz 2016

James Diaz lives in New York. His work has appeared in Pismire, These Fragile Lilacs, Epigraph, Foliate Oak, and Red Fez. He is founding editor of the literary arts journal Anti-Heroin Chic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Poetry by John Rock


The woodthrush using the depths of the forest as its instrument
The forest giving the woodthrush a home so that the forest can
Falling stones
Crackling leaves
Burning autumn ocean
The wind sings through the trembling aspens
The aspens using the wind to sing
The wind singing through the white pines swaying
   with the elegance of autumn precisely sung
You push your breasts against the mosquito netting
   to say goodmorning
Fishing out a pine twig from the tea
   I realize I was always this persona

- John Rock 2016

John Rock grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan between Milwaukee and Chicago and attended the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and San Francisco Art Institute for Film, Anthropology and Literature.  He lived for many years on the shores of Lake Superior gardening and writing poems and in San Francisco making and showing experimental films.  He is the author of two futuristic novellas and many poems.  He presently lives in Asheville, NC where he is working on a full-length science-fantasy novel.  He can be contacted at 

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Poetry by Robert Getz

cool night observed

this is the first cool
night in some time

not cool enough for
windows but cool

dark chocolate on
pomegranate seeds

orange drink and
frosted cupcakes

recycling collecting
near the kitchen sink

welcome to empire
expanded by time

- Robert Getz 2016


i willed myself into the west
without water, only cactus
skidding scrub and sand
an arid ghost against the
moon, i fell down scallops
of earth that looked like
frozen ocean waves, i let
the darkness permeate my
soul like a gila, empurpled
empire of mesas unfolding
before me, on the edge of
an eggshell universe just
before i remembered where
i was and the whole world
closed in again, walls and
fences and places to be

- Robert Getz 2016

Robert W. Getz lives in Glenside, PA. His latest book of poetry is "Pomp and other Circumstances: Poems 2014-2015".

Thursday, September 08, 2016

New Poetry by Steve De France

Angels of the Night

I drive back to tinsel town on Sunset Boulevard. 
Hollywood---a town with its legs wide open,
An American landscape where fast food swathes
the night sky with burning cow flesh. Lowered 
cars gyrate, rumble, boom, and with darkened windows,
prowl among fleshy bistros teeming with stale sex, 
XXX rated movies, and unlive sex acts. 

L.A. is the gun waiting to go off in your face.
Angels of the night linger on street corners, 
as streets crawl with immigrants, domestic freaks, 
and Zoo People from Montana--- here to touch 
Bogart’s wig---or Monroe’s wax breast.

All have vaguely heard an ancient culture 
plans to kill them. They feel distantly restless.

Still they consume all things plastic,
 knowing less than more is always nothing.

At times they laugh uncontrollably

- Steve De France 2016

Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in America, England, Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, Australia, and New Zealand. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in both 2002 and 2003. Recent publications include The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Mid-American Poetry Review, Ambit, Atlantic, Clean Sheets, Poetrybay, Yellow Mama and The Sun. In England he won a Reader's Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem "Hawks." In the United States he won the Josh Samuels' Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem: "The Man Who Loved Mermaids." His play THE KILLER had it's world premier at the GARAGE THEATRE in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006). He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing. Most recently his poem "Gregor's Wings" has been nominated for The Best of The Net by Poetic Diversity.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Poetry by Abigail George


My depression has its own voice.
He wears a crown of winter leaves.
He is my companion, my lover,
My after-thought. It is always winter
When he is near. In bed his arms
Always reach for me. He runs me a
Bath after a long day. Sometimes I
Put on make-up for him to cover up
The blue feeling that holds me down
From the top of my head to the
Soles of my feet. He tells me in no uncertain
Terms that I should wear perfume
More often. I should play tennis like I
Used to. I should go swimming. I should
Take long walks. I should fall in love.
I should have a relationship to take my
Mind away from him but I laugh at this.
He knows by now I don’t take him

Seriously at all. Doctors say he is a
Hazard to my health. I should pay
Attention to what they tell me. It’s
For my own good. But I’ve lived with
Him for years now. I’m used to his
Ways and he is used to mine. He knows
The time I get up (usually late morning).
He knows my writing routine. He
Knows how I like my coffee first thing
In the morning. My tea as the hours
Pass into evening. We draw up plans
And lists together. It’s a joy to map out
A fixed day. We laugh together.
We cry together. We share everything.
He is a glacier. Tension underneath the surface.
He is sunburn, feather, and gull in the air.
His eyes are flint. Heart made out of
The air of a clock. I know him so well.

- Abigail George 2016

Abigail George is a poet, short story writer and aspirant young adult novelist from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She has been long-listed for the Sol Plaatje European Union Award IV (Jacana Media). Her poem "The Accident" was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice (27 March 2006). Her work has appeared in the following anthologies; "To Kingdom Come" edited by Rethabile Masilo. Her work has also been anthologised in "Being Bipolar: Stories from Those Living with the Disorder and Those Who Love Them" edited by Rachel Ellen Koski (Editor), Poems for Haiti (Poets Printery), a South African Writer's Circle anthology, the Sentinel Annual Literature Anthology, and Mini Stories, an anthology of children's stories (Kwarts Publishing).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Poetry by Benjamin Dodds

Ode to the Saturn V

Gravity fumbles and lets one through:
a climbing tower blows back 

flaming raspberry three times its length.
Transcendence of the everyday

through roaring machine—
the impossible on demand

from a swiss watch that stands
one hundred and eleven metres high. 

Ten separate trios of men balanced 
on the head of an unfailing pin

pitched and yawed
upward and outward

defied Ithacan pull
on yoked and steered explosion

an inferno that raged only 
twenty minutes per mission

but opened an infinite sky.
Twelve brought back on their boots

the dust of somewhere else
but each and all were lowered 

home again as promised
to the Pacific's open embrace

on candy-striped scoops
of oh-so-welcome air.

A miracle on repeat
burns money and interest.

People stop watching 
and awe becomes a yawn.

The Saturn V
elite succeeder

the tallest of poppies proves
no one likes an overachiever.

- Benjamin Dodds 2016

Benjamin Dodds is the author of Regulator (Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014). His work has appeared in Best Australian Poems 2014, Meanjin, Cordite and on Radio National’s Poetica program. He blogs at and tweets @coalesce79.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Call out to Oz

There have been a few of those hoary old rumours running north of the line that poetry is dead. These things run up there like the influenza and world wars. Avoid them at all costs. 

Anyway, on the subject of which, a certain, well, let's just say, for want of a better word, critical review, by a certain compatriot of ours of a recent issue of a certain Chicago journal featuring some of our fairest (and some say finest) has ruffled a few feathers in the nest, and may have twinged Bluepepper's baying calf. I like to mix my metaphors like my drinks, sorry.

So, submit please, southern sons and daughters! Bluepepper is all red and blue with the Yankee pep. They are a warm, expansive, complicated people. But more Aussie genius please....Bluepepper can't enough of it! We can hear it bubbling.....

Sunday, August 28, 2016

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Exhibitionist Arrested Again

The call comes in 
to the police station.
It’s a small town and
the voice at the library
says “He’s at it again.”  
The cops go over
and climb the stairs
to the top floor 
and find him as always
reading in the stacks.
An old professor 
in a suit and tie
with many degrees
who loves books.
Kooky to a fault.
At the station
they ask him again
why do you do this 
especially in a library. 
The old professor says 
the library is where 
he likes to hang out.

- Donal Mahoney 2016

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had work published in various countries. Among them are Bluepepper (Australia), Ink Sweat and Tears (England), The Galway Review (Ireland), The Osprey Journal (Wales), Public Republic (Bulgaria), and The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey).