Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Poetry by Stuart Barnes

At the Synagogue

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him
Psalms 37:7

A Festival of Lights, of Dedication.
A night of celebration. A picture show in Perth.

In ruffled outskirts Balaclava'd guardsex-
IDFinterrogate the ones who wait with patience

my Holy Joes, their daughter, nappy rifled. I burnish
each menorah, then glare nairs in every sexton.

- Stuart Barnes 2012

The F├╝hrer

strait-razored my lustrous black hair to cushion submarines'
machinery, to weave clothing, felt and blankets for his stormtroopers
(from my fine white scalp Eva Braun handsewed a lampshade).

uprooted every molar, gold melted into Switzerland's
ingots. cleaved my right breast (had I had the brawn of an
Amazon his heart would have been dissected); my left arm, tattooed

bluely, plies the spines of breathless Shepherds.
lastly mined my vagina for pearls, soaped his cock,
his balls and his arsehole with my adipose tissue.

From his bedside dresser my skull, like Yorick's, mocks.

†on watching Paragraph 175

- Stuart Barnes 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Be Part of the Fireworks!

While Bluepepper is slowly building a reputation north of the line, its reception Downunder has been fitful at best, a little prickly-cool at worst, at least judging by the stats (and some of the comments), and the proportion of Australian poets I see in my inbox. I am beginning to think my compatriots wished I were somewhere else. 

OK, so I don't purr and coo at every gathering of two poets and a cheap cask of wine, but cut me and I still bleed hexameters!

Some time this week Bluepepper will be celebrating its 20,000th visitor, and I am planning more HTML fireworks than the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics combined. Come on Aussies and be part of the fun! Send me some of your best pyrotechnic panegyrics!

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Poetry by Mark Goad


Every poem –
don’t be fooled –
is trying to convert you
to its own small god.
Every poet

is selling her own
version of beauty or
truth or pretended absence

of either or both. There
are no simple statements here
and innocence – what? – the most
beautiful dream of all.

Poetry breeds credulity, that’s the fact of it, and
poets are the truest believers.

- Mark Goad 2012

Mark's most recent publications include Assisi and analogpress.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Poetry by B.Z. Niditch


Sensing warmth
in the earth
a young widow spider
climbs up the rose bush
sunshine devouring
everyone dazzled in sight
the boy on the bicycle
now fixes a tire
near the gazebo
watches the flute player
with urgent fingers
hob nobbing with Mozart
on the sand dunes
soon passes the plate
to the veteran card player
for his last supper
on the island
before the rainy season
grows utterly dark.

- B.Z. Niditch 2012

BZ Niditch's latest poetry collection is "Lorca at Sevilla" March St Press, North Carolina. USA, avalaible at amazon.com. New poems in Grasslimb,N American Review, Pacific Review, publishes internationally in UK. Australia,New Zealand ,France, Austria,Germany and Japan.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

Te Rerenga Wairua

The wind was whickering from the west the afternoon
I came to the cape, keeping the sun
high in the ocean's air above me,
knowing that nothing I knew was as beautiful.

Under, the waters were held by the wind
with whitecaps worn like a wasteland blooming
with white wildflowers, fleet and impermanent,
but blowing with a transitory trance of blossoming.

I was reminded of traces of talc, slightly
coloured, but essentially the sight of calcium
as it rises, clearly, like clouds of white,
in the fingernails of a dreaming drawer, unnoticed.
And the sea and ocean seemed to dream
while the brilliant green grew over
the hills and the cliffs, climbing into
the salt air, entering legend.

And I remembered, my memories emerging like a fine
mist, knowing not if knowledge could serve me
or save me, knowing not of certain words,
for the world was wild, like a warrior sailing.

And the land was slowly, slowly sailing
into the north, as an enormous waka
that leaves whiteness in its wake, and I seemed
to see, in the ocean, what seemed a vision.

But I speak no vision; the vision eludes me
in my world of words, and willful naming
of phenomena, while knowing nothing of dream,
the cape with its water and whitecaps, and ocean.

- Phillip Ellis 2012

You can visit Phillip's site in the "links" section on the right sidebar.

New Poetry by Aleksandr Smechov

DFW The Night Before The Morning He Hangs Himself

Finishing his prandial grub,
Wallace lays recumbent
on his saffron divan.
A minutia fly gives a sort of like
meddling look,
like “what are You planning in that sinuous head,
Wallace ol’ boy?”
He stares at the curlicues bifurcating on the ceiling,
merging and convolving and abdicating.
Him thinking,
that’s how my life’s been.
And then thinking like that last thought was a tad bromidic, no?
A Big Red tonic, empty, standing on his magenta lacquered bureau
reverberates the sharp sun rays that break through
the off-white venetian blinds.
Wallace, supine for like two hours by this time,
ruminates on infamous penultimate and ultimate
Last Words.
“See you tomorrow,” and then
“I love you.”
Some African parrot the night before the morning the grief-spasmed owner found it
supine on its back.
The fly’s landed in the jamb of the
open-just-enough-for-a-bit-of-oxygen window.
it dances a sort of Greek dance,
a sort of Kalamatiano,
Wallace figures.
He recalls the Ambrose story, with the Confederate.
The soda bottle’s not reflecting the rays anymore, and the fly
has eloped and Wallace
is alone.
A skullcap is what he would don,
if he had to choose what his personal hat would be,
and not because it matches his quiddity or anything like that,
just that it feels right.

Aleksandr Smechov 2012

Frederick the First was a rock

I found him one grey day
While climbing the Vilnius pines;
From a gaunt bough I spotted him,
Lying there, insolent and haughty, like
He owned the damn meadow.
I Don’t Think So, I though, and
Took him home,
Washed him,
Even gave him a nice spot by the window.

I figured he’d be lonely there, so sometimes
I took him with me.
We rolled down mountains,
Climbed mammoth trees,
Braved mud pits with our bare feet.

One day I threw him off a hill, and
When I rolled down he wasn’t there. Grandma and I
Searched for hours.
We looked every day,
but Frederick I was lost.

How easy it is to kill a king
When he’s not in his palace.

Fredrick II was a giant cockroach.
He lived under the bathroom’s washing machine,
In his moist castle.
I tried to assassinate him many times,
But I always failed;
He was too fast, too lean, too small to get caught.
One day my mom screamed.
Fredrick II was in the bathtub.
I turned on the steaming water
And he washed down
His watery tomb.

How easy it is to kill a king
When he’s not in his palace.

Aleksandr Smechov 2012

Aleksandr was born in Belarus, moved to Lithuania for a year and then immigrated to the United States. He has lived in the Bronx ever since, going back to Lithuania several times. He attends Baruch College where he majors in journalism. He plans to become an investigative journalist, but what he truly wants to do is write fiction. His favorite author (for now) is David Foster Wallace. He is also a Borges junkie. Taking a class with poet Laurie Sheck was what really improved and galvanized his poetry. He is 20 years old.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New Haiku by Bill Wolak

stretched to the ceiling
legs spreading even wider
sleek as forked lightning

- Bill Wolak 2012

only nakedness
where kisses thrive

- Bill Wolak 2012

interlocking legs
pressed tighter than flames
twisting around kindling

- Bill Wolak 2012

Bill Wolak is a poet whose haiku have appeared in many literary magazines such as, Bear Creek Haiku, FreeXpresSion, Ginyu, Haiku Canada Review, Haiku Novine, Haiku Scotland, Harvests of New Millennium, Illya’s Honey, Kokako, Lishanu, The Mozzie, Notes From the Gean, Paper Wasp, Prine Number Magazine, South by Southeast, Taj Mahal Review, and Whirligig. He has just published his third book of poetry entitled Archeology of Light. Recently he has been selected to be a featured reader at the 2011 Kritya International Poetry Festival in Nagpur, India. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Words and Pictures by Wayne H. W Wolfson


 When they killed Cesar uptown it came about by sheer dumb luck and a lie. His wife had not wanted him to go to work that day for her sleep had been all nightmares full of what had to be portents, an empty bird feeder swinging in the breeze, creaking like a hanged man, with every to and fro. A line of ants dead in their tracks, the bodies forming a wavering arrow whose now stilled tip touched the very base of their hill. 
 He kissed her forehead and told her that he would be fine but when she persisted he snapped, telling her that her anxiety was only because she had mixed her drinks despite having been warned not to. He had made his mind up to go, besides, it was too nice a day; had it been raining or even overcast he would have been half tempted. 
 At the office, the lobby receptionist and the guard who shared her desk seemed pensive. Everyone else was milling about, snapping into action every few minutes like freshly wound toys whose purpose was to pantomime a work routine until the key once again wound down. 
 Cesar sat at his desk debating on whether or not to send for coffee. He looked out his window, down upon the skyline he had worked so hard to rise above. If he could not relax or indulge himself every now and then, then what was the point, aside from the good of the people of course. He grabbed a few files that he could skim at home if he got to feeling guilty. In his mind he was already deciding upon which record he was going to put on first; Jelly Roll Morton, smoky but not dark. 

"Waiting For Pasta To Cook" (Marker & Paper 5x7)
Wayne Wolfson

 Brutus came in and asked him to poke his head into the conference room, just to sort of give his blessing to the end of quarter reports. He agreed, managing to not let his shoulders sag nor sigh too loud, giving the caveat that he did not have long as he was already late for a thing. 
 The door clicked behind him. The numbers on the overhead in black and red, in the future would they have any meaning? There was a coldness, it kept popping up, all over his body but mainly in the abdomen, chest and back. From outside came the soundtrack, the plaintive horns of rush hour traffic, the only thing that would have been even better, a chorus armed with old tin noise makers from every New Year’s Eve parties past. 
 No one made eye contact with each other, nor would they do so ever again even if shaking hands in public for etiquette’s sake. 
 As he lay dying, Cesar had managed to roll onto his side. For one mad minute there was a collective fear, each man suspecting the rest had held back on the ferocity of their blows and now none of the corsages blooming out of the white were mortal strikes. His arm curved at the elbow and he pulled his tunic up to cover his face. No one knew why, although Brutus suspected that he had been attempting to retreat into blackness with the hope that it was just a dream from which he could emerge upon uncovering his eyes, Such too is old age sometimes viewed by those in it.

- Wayne H.W Wolfson 2012

Click here to visit Wayne's website

Friday, May 04, 2012

New Poetry by Kathryn Guelcher


Lauren is exactly the student who apologizes then
asks a question she should know the answer to
by now. So when I asked them to circle
contradictory imagery on a copy of Strange Fruit,
and she said, “Sorry, what’s imagery?”
I was not surprised.

She who is pretty and small and
who sometimes calls me Mom and often
fights to pass and pay attention.

After we watched Billie Holiday’s 1939 rendition-
heartfelt, courageous, and defiant in that white only club-
someone else in class noted the slowness of the singing.
And it was Lauren whom I overheard casually impart
that the drawn out pace of the performance might
reflect the lynching itself,
that such killing does not happen mercifully,
“But, I mean, I don’t know,” she finished.
And her audience had not truly been listening.

- Kathryn Guelcher 2012

In addition to being a mother of three, Kathryn has been teaching high school English in a suburb outside of Chicago for 12 years.  This is Kathryn’s second appearance at Bluepepper.