Monday, September 06, 2021

New Poetry by Henry Stimpson

Memory Murder Mystery

I know the Cream of Wheat jingle,
the first four lines of “To Autumn,”
Mickey Mantle’s batting average,
Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns,
artiodactyls versus perissodactyls,
sushi versus sashimi,
my dead alcoholic grandmother’s
favorite brand of sherry,
and the square mileage of Delaware,
but among that vast detritus
I can never ever dredge up
those three pap-bland names
the singer had to rub out
to be reborn
as Nina Simone.

The Loneliest Monk

“And who is The Loneliest Monk?”
–MTV reporter to Bill Clinton, who said Thelonious Monk was his favorite jazz artist

The acolyte of solitude speaks sparingly,
each word a pearl cultured in his mind

with opalescent layers of meaning.
World leaders: pay attention.

His aura trembles to the music
of the spheres like candlelight.

- © Henry Stimpson 2021

Henry Stimpson’s poems, articles and essays have appeared in Poet Lore, Cream City Review, Lighten Up Online, Rolling Stone, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mad River Review, Aethlon, Bluepepper, The MacGuffin, The Aurorean, Common Ground Review, Vol1Brooklyn, Poets & Writers, The Boston Globe and other publications.  He’s been a public relations consultant and writer for decades. Once upon a time, he was a reference librarian, a prison librarian and a cabdriver. He lives in Massachusetts.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

New Poetry by R. Gerry Fabian

Learning Curve

At last, the reunion,
under an Ottawa traffic signal
during December’s last days.
The return of a stranger
with heavy foreign accent
in the middle of an ice storm mirage.
A frozen tongue speaks stencil messages.
I’ve lost more
than I can ever regain 
to this city.

Ours is a unicorn union, now.
I fumble in the present
in an attempt to initiate the past.
You are a snow sculpture.
Every minute together
hangs like an icicle.

Finally we call a halt
to this terrible two day catastrophe.
It is awkward because you
are home
and I am a Christmas present
that needs to be returned.

- © R. Gerry Fabian 2021

R. Gerry Fabian is an internationally published poet and novelist. He has published four books of his published poems, Parallels, Coming Out Of The Atlantic, Electronic Forecasts and Ball On The Mound. In addition, he has published three novels : Getting Lucky (The Story), Memphis Masquerade, and Seventh Sense. His web page is, Twitter @GerryFabian2. He lives in Doylestown, PA.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

New Poetry by Joe Balaz

Not My Circus                                                                                                             

I no tink so Slick,
dat no sound too good to me.

Not interested,
no desire,

so you can just stay deah
on your street corner

wit your little bags
of momentary euphoria.
I not looking
to be bathed in wun heavenly glow
cause wen da shine wears off

it’s like jumping out of wun airplane
witout wun parachute

and landing on da pavement
like wun ovah ripe cantaloupe.

I’m really much too spunky
to be wun sorry junkie

fooling wit da fire,
spoon, and needle.

It’s moa hip
to take wun natural trip

by rapping to da beat of my feet
dat stay walking away.

If you could read my mind
it would be telling you

not my circus,  
not my monkeys,

cause wen you play stupid games
you win stupid prizes.

- © Joe Balaz 2021

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English) and American English.  He is the author of Pidgin Eye, a book of poetry. In July, 2020, Balaz was given the Elliot Cades Award for Literature as an Established Writer.  It is the most prestigious literary award given in Hawai’i.  Balaz presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

New Poetry by Jean Bohuslav


Inspired by Ali Whitelock's ‘the lactic acid in the calves of your despair’

who will wring disappointment from the
sleeves of your thick woollen jumper
soak separation from each repetitive stitch
with warm soapy water
as thoughts of mother hang in the air

who will lay your hand-knit on
a slab of hindsight
in bright forgiving sun of a new day

who will sow seeds of inspiration
into each stride
and serve you a meal at their table
does pride need to be honoured when
batons are left at the blocks

uncage the bird from your heart
only you
have keys for surrender
support exists  
even when you doubt

now is time to let the hungry dog loose
cleanse bat-winged corridors from mind
light bonfires of desire
for spring buds

- © Jean Bohuslav 2021

Jean Bohuslav lives on the SurfCoast of Victoria. She enjoys submitting to Meniscus, Kissing Dynamite, Poetry on the Move, Poetry Wivenhoe, Mad Swirl, U3A SurfCoast Poetry, Tango Australis as well as Bluepepper.

Monday, August 30, 2021

New Poetry by Michael Keshigian

Panda Bear
Because he was terrified of loneliness,
he granted me life
and the ability to share with him
what little time he had remaining.
I placated his hours of isolation.
With no mobility,
he carried me everywhere,
onto the veranda with its view of the lake
on most sunny days
and nightly, in front of the television.
I could hear him limping
as he approached from the hall,
his gait, a telltale sign of concern.
Will he discuss his wife’s departure
or the considerable ineptitude
of political leaders?
Neighbors never visited,
they thought him odd, reclusive,
yet I know he would have welcomed
even the most abbreviated conversation.
No one complained about him,
he once entered a burning house
across the street
to save the wailing dog,
observation, his forte,
he knew no one was home.
The woman, living there,
who sobbed incessantly,
occasionally waved as she pulled
from out her driveway.
These midnight thoughts
are my only escape
from his ceaseless chatter.
I stare at him as he sleeps.
In the morning, he will open the blinds
and the sun will continue to melt
my button black eyes to a faded gray.
How I envy him. I yearn for eyelids 
and a single night of obscurity.

- © Michael Keshigian 2021

Michael Keshigian is the author of 14 poetry collections. His most recent poems have appeared in Muddy River Review, Studio One, Jerry Jazz Musician, San Pedro River Review, Young Ravens Literary Review, Tipton Poetry Journal. He has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Sunday, August 29, 2021

New Poetry by Fotoula Reynolds

When the world seems a dungeon

What might a lily
With all her being
Wish for?
Her aim is true
Toward any sun
A bold rankness
An unceasing
Obsession to
Become herself
A continual longing

A tense line of ivory
Wrapping over
The boundaries of
The blossom is so
Unmistakable in
The decision of
Her direction
Skyward she rises
In a steady siren
Of Calla confidence

Her waxy petal cups a
Yellow spike like an
Eternal flame in God’s
Garden, on days blacker
Than night, when Earth
Becomes timid
Where the dragonfly
Goes beating his
Blind wings against
The long lines of the rain
The lily trumpets with spirit

- © Fotoula Reynolds 2021

Fotoula Reynolds is a writer of poetry, born in Australia of Greek heritage. She lives in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria and convenes a poetry reading group in her local community. She regularly attends and participates in spoken word events in and around the city of Melbourne. She is the author of three poetry collections and is published in five Australian anthologies. Fotoula is a 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee.


Thursday, August 26, 2021

New Poetry by John Stanizzi

Jah Rain

Got to have kaya now
Got to have kaya now
Got to have kaya now
For the rain is falling

-Bob Marley and the Wailers, "Kaya"
rain in the hills
on curled October leaves
on the tarnished crop
one drop
mercurial hop
from blade of grass
to blade of grass
            glazed chain of rain
strings of grass
gilded with water light
playing faint notes
rain in the hills
a room just after dusk
the sacristy of night
thoughts of morning sun
thanks and praises
for the sound of wings in rain
blessings in blades of grass
that grow up
through shrapnel
into the air
into the clouds
the sweetest taste of life
lightest rain
in the dark
lights the dark
Jah rain
that makes children sing
when they drink it

- © John Stanizzi 2021

John L. Stanizzi is author of the collections Ecstasy Among Ghosts (Antrim House), Sleepwalking (Antrim House), Dance Against the Wall (Antrim House), After the Bell (BigTable), Hallelujah Time! (Big Table), High Tide – Ebb Tide (Kelsay Books), Four Bits (Grayson Press), Chants (Cervena Barva), Sundowning Main Street Rag, POND (imspired – UK)), and The Tree That Lights The Way Home (Antrim House). John is the Flash Fiction Editor of Abstract Magazine TV, and he has read at venues all over New England, including the Mystic Arts CafĂ©, the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, Hartford Stage, and many others.  He teaches literature at Manchester Community College in Manchester, Connecticut, and lives with his wife, Carol, in Coventry, CT.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

New Poetry by Christian Garduno

The Eastern Hemisphere

The blood trade-
it stains your throat
skulking around Astrid’s blown-out town
I’ve been asleep for centuries
dreaming of yesterday

The gloaming has eight arms
to push the sands back up the hourglass
your heart beats in a sound-proof box
two things can be true at the very same time
strains of Vivaldi wafting through your hair

We are beginning our descent
yellow traffic lights blinking on blank streets
your eyelids flutter
the Sun is moving
it is we who are still in the night 

- © Christian Garduno 2021

Christian Garduno’s work can be read in over 80 literary magazines. He is the recipient of the 2019 national Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. Garduno is a Finalist in the 2020-2021 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Writing Contest. He lives and writes along the South Texas coast with his wonderful wife Nahemie and young son Dylan.  




Monday, August 23, 2021

New Prose Poetry by Keith Hoerner

The Incredulity of Thomas

An index finger points the way from beneath the altar at Santa Croce Church in Gerusalemme, Roma. Postmortem examinations record the appearance to be blackened at the tip to the first knuckle; ashen grey for the remainder; absent of nail; with an irregular, saw cut along the webbing. Like a fat cigarette that’s been snuffed-out and soaked... I ponder this relic and imagine it in a clear, Petri-like dish, resting as a dial in a compass: coming to life with a shudder, spinning wildly, and settling its accusatory point on all passersby incredulous with doubt—of its existence. 

- © Keith Hoerner 2021

Keith Hoerner lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois. His recently published memoir, The Day the Sky Broke Open, can be found on Amazon. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

New Poetry by Brian Rihlmann

Pencil marks

I park in the cul-de-sac,
stop at the bottom 
of the driveway and 
grab the mail from the box.
The garage door’s open
so I take that route.
Before going in I pause and 
look at the pencil marks 
on the door jamb, 
just like the ones 
from my childhood bedroom.
I was always so eager
to be tall like Dad.
I waited impatiently 
for a summer growth spurt
that never quite came,
bugged her every week
to check it again.
Standing here now
I examine hers 
from ten years ago, 
five, and one from this year;
a half inch below the last,
a half inch closer to the ground.
I go in the house.
She’s in the kitchen.
Hi Mom, I say. I hug her. 
Squeeze. Too much.
Not so tight, she says.
You’ll break my bones.
I let her go, then.
I’m sure I’ve already broken her
more than enough.

- © Brian Rihlmann 2021

Brian Rihlmann lives in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Chiron Review, The Main Street Rag, The American Journal Of Poetry, and New York Quarterly. He has authored three collections of poetry, most recently “A Screaming Place,” (2021) by Cajun Mutt Press.