Sunday, May 01, 2016

New Poetry by Richard King Perkins II

Flesh Reverie

I don’t remember what you said that first night—
tenuously in light extinguished,
the curving pleasure of incalculable intimacy.

I’m learning to enjoy the soft rain
and the tenuous tresses on my skin
as you fill my lungs with color and gratification.

The dissonance of our carillon
splinters the metaphor we thought we were—
strains of human moonlight swooped upon earth.

But this is only the other side of something blue.
We’ve become a distortion of understanding,
advocates of a ruthless love begging mercy.

You tell me that you think we deserve a testament
filled with burgeoning powerful clarity like we found
last night in the flesh reverie that could only be now.

- Richard King Perkins II 2016

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Friday, April 29, 2016

New Poetry by Ramon Loyola


Some skin are meant to be brown
To trap the sun blindly, unknowingly,
And make for an easy friendliness
In a sea of blue eyes and sunlit faces.

Some voices are meant to be high pitched
To herald pieties and free camaraderie,
Despite the brown skin almost yellow,
The pocked skin not quite smooth and fair.

Some skin are bound to be touched,
Caressed with the warmth of wonder
For what is between black and white,
Neither kin nor foe towards the lone light.

- Ramon Loyola 2016

Ramon Loyola is a Filipino-Australian writer of poems, fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of three books of poetry and a short story chapbook. He lives in Sydney and works as a lawyer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Poetry by James Babbs

The Color of the Sky

sitting at home
feeling kind of lonely
and months have passed
since the last time
I was in love
summer has come and gone
and fall has started to
give way to another winter
the mornings just a little colder
the color of the sky seems different
and the light doesn’t last as long
and I keep asking questions
that have more than one answer
and sometimes none of them
are the answer I was hoping for
almost dark again and
I lean forward in my chair
before getting to my feet
and I understand the broken things
can’t always be mended
it’s better to throw them away
and start over again

- James Babbs 2016

James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).

Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Poetry by Brandi Kary


When my father tells the story
the punch line is always
about the size of my hands—
How small and perfect they were
 in just the right moment.
And he sits there
on the recliner
in his gray sweater
talking like a cowboy.

The story goes like this:
 My mother was gone somewhere
and I had come outside.
It was late in the season for a birth.
And the pack of men were all standing around
And our cow had half of her calf
hanging out of her.

 No one knew what to do,
but cows are money
And it had been too long
And they both were going to die.
So somehow I walked over there
Driven by instinct or luck or something --
And I got it out.

Like waterfall the calf  
ripped into the world
Still it a perfect sack
The placenta,
Unwrapped like a gift.

No one believes the story at first,
but it is true,
And I am afraid of it.

 See when my father tells it,
He always leaves out the details:

Like the way needle grass, sugar bush,
Brittle brush, and wild rye
were taller than usual that year.
The low hum of the cicadas
could be heard for miles.
 Or how the men drank sixers
 and shoot bee bees at the trunks of trees
 while I carried that sack
far out to the field.

I dug a hole with my perfect hands
And neatly tucked it away.
You might be wondering
 if something beautiful happened after that.
But life continued.

The placenta in the field
a meal for the coyotes,
the pill bugs,
a feast for my family

Such beasts we hope
one day unearth themselves-
Our stories,
our fictions,
our bones
our birth.
So that  
someone with
perfect hands
can dig it up
far out
in the field.

- Brandi Kary 2016

Brandi Kary is a mother, educator, and writer who lives in Pacific Grove, California.  She currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Monterey Peninsula College and Cal State Monterey Bay. Both she and her anthropologist husband enjoy dragging their kids all over the world to gain inspiration.  Her poetry has recently appeared in Homestead Review, The Voices Project, and  Flutter Poetry Journal.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Poetry by Valli Poole


Talking to herself, the air
a bag lady wears a moth eaten hat.
Funeral – clothes – threadbare, smell of
something spoiled, forgotten, a
rotting corvus bird.

She will tell you,
if you let her,
how once she was a pole dancer
and she will dance for you
gyrating to an imaginary pole.

Skirts lift, her hand
strokes her crotch.
The fetid air gathers around
her as if throwing
contemptuous copper coins.

- Valli Poole 2016

valli poole is an Australian poet. Her work has been published in Australia and Internationally. valli runs a small press in australia called blank Rune Press. Her books include A Box of Hummingbirds (2013), Aeons (2013), Bog Boys & Unquiet Graves and Folie A Quatre: An anthology of Love Poems (2016).valli is currently working on a suite of poems for publication.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Poetry by James Croal Jackson

Like a box of chocolates

Did you know what you were going to get, strolling
through the supermarket handpicking chocolates,

deciding between pecan bon bons, truffles,
and white chocolate shells filled with fudge?

We did not yet know the salt of incandescence,
your caramel smile on the roof of my mouth,

blind with each other’s taste, the lavender
some sickly rose blooming.

We melted together in the sun not worrying
about how our distinct tastes would smelt and swirl

around in our greedy mouths how our tongues flicked
and explored until we were almost satisfied but

every good thing melts the way autumn crumples
at the peak of its most swirling sweetness.

- James Croal Jackson 2016

James Croal Jackson writes poetry and occasionally music. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Find out more at

Saturday, April 09, 2016

New Poetry by James Diaz

Monty IV

Cold hands how do I say
go before me
lay everyplace
you've been
on my body bone
thigh-offspring crawling
crystal clear
water heart gushing
at the edges
screaming 'last night
I loved you so bad
I thought it would not end'

bending toward your oak
and acrylic fingertips

water willows
you don't understand
I write because
you are death-spirit
and I am compact
like a lover
from out of the woods

a compass pressed
into your breast bone
inking three thousand names
for 'enduring' and 'getting through'
and 'walk it off, kid'

that I cannot ingest you like air
that so much of you escapes me
that my filament, my soul bruise
burns in the aftermath
gathering your crumb trail

weapon of love cut out of paper
these words won't do
but I'll say them anyway
I love... (...)

- James Diaz 2016

James Diaz lives in upstate New York. He is the founding editor of the online literary arts journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared in HIV Here & Now, Foliate Oak, Chronogram, Indiana Voice Journal, Pismire, Epigraph, and Cheap Pop Lit.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

New Poetry by Faith Pomeroy

Writing Process

As usual it is not beautiful,
but only scribbled words against a white blank rage. I
cry out for  my petty injustices and
dread the 2 a.m. bell toll that
explains the difference between intent and consequence;
fragility of bone is no excuse to
give misery a poetic line.

Heavy on tongue and tooth
I leave the writing desk for
jasmine tea, replace an embrace for a
kindred spirit in chipped porcelain.
Loving me is not effortless.

Men throw rings away like tea bags,
(Nothing about this is poetic), they

Open legs and leave lust lying like
partially structured paragraphs
quietly clawing at margins and footnotes. It’s
redundant to write the same thing over and over.

Short of breath and breadth, I
type routine  into conversation, I
utilize absence  for coping, I scratch
Vinyl against  needle and pray it has more meter than
women begging for rings.

Xenocide bleeds in every line and
you think that makes it
zealous poetry. 

- Faith Pomeroy 2016

Hello! My name is Faith Pomeroy and I am a graduate from James Madison university in Harrisonburg, VA where I studied English with a concentration in creative writing. I have been writing all my life and feel like it is something that I use to express myself as well as think things through. Specifically, in this poem that I am submitting I tried to pinpoint the exact process I go through mentally and physically each time I begin a new piece. I also played around with the form of the poem; each break begins with the next letter of the alphabet. I believe that poetry speaks very loudly of ones heart and I have hope that this poem is speaking loudly for mine. 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Poetry by Kip McMillan


can you learn how to place an iv
hitch hiking an emergent vet visit
on your way to San Diego
his teeth spattered
raindrops wrapped in
a tourniquet blanket the size of family
you raised him

run with your thumb out
sobbing catheters
trying to save a dead dog.

- Kip McMillan 2016

Kip McMillan is a bilingual poet in Spanish and English living in Boone, North Carolina. She is a student of nursing and Spanish at Appalachian State University. She hopes that nursing can cure things that poetry cannot and vice versa.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Poetry by Margaret Holley

Lilies of the Valley

And then everything blooms. 
Snowdrops dot the hillside, redbuds blush dark pink,

and one morning the scent of lilacs
steals in through our window.  My husband has purchased

a second cane, this one with a leather-
wrapped handle and handsome wood shaft, more elegant

than the drug store version we started with.
He walks in very small steps now . . . “for balance.”

For two days I’ve been trying to recall
the name of our handy kitchen slicer, without success. 

And the name of that white-flowered bush . . .
gone for good?  I imagine my words like petals, one

by one letting go of their little twigs.
I’d rather not remember that all these blooms – fireworks

of forsythia, the blood-red tulips –
are incarnations of ice and the slush it became. 

One December my picture calendar promised,
“The new bread sleeps under the snow.”  For now, we are

the new bread – hyacinths, lilacs, lilies of the valley. 
Then we are snow.

- Margaret Holley 2016

Margaret Holley’s fifth book of poems is Walking Through the Horizon (University of Arkansas Press).  Her work has appeared in Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and many other journals.  Former director of Bryn Mawr College’s Creative Writing Program, she currently serves as a docent at Winterthur Museum.