Monday, December 09, 2013

New Poetry by Sharmagne Leland- St. John

La Kalima
Like swallows they return each year
their vermilion scarves stirring
in the relentless,
oppressive, scalding Siroccos.

They come amber scented
from Tunisia
the hems of their lilac kaftans
fluttering in Zephyr's
white-hot breath.

They come from Kashmir
with mehndi stained hands and feet,
physical graffiti,
their silk saris whispering raginis
pitched to sultry winds.

They come from Cairo
their kohl eyes
searching the bazaar
for the delicate spider web lace,
the rondels woven by
needle pricked fingers.

They come from Andalusia
with jessamine and geranium
pinned into the lustrous ripples
of their burnished ebony hair

They come and they go
to return each year like swallows.

Sharmagne Leland- St. John 2013
(Prize winner Ina Coolbrith 86th Annual Poets Dinner Berkeley)

7 time Pushcart Prize nominee, Native American poet, concert performer, lyricist, artist, film maker, Editor-in-Chief Quill and
Widely anthologised.  Published 4 poetry collections Co-authored Designing Movies: Portrait of a Hollywood Artis.t Co-editor of Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood (winner of the 2013 International Book Award) 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

Zodiac's Form
         Setting: an outback station

 Washed dry by rain
 on this dry earth
 under our sun,
 bull's skeleton--
 Zodiac's form--
 on this hard earth
 under our moon,
 crumbles to dust.

 When the sky's cloud
 loudly mutters
 thunder under
 summer stars, there
 bull's skeleton
 waits for the rain
 tumbling, fumbling
 to coax new growth.

- Phillip Ellis 2013

The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hundred Years Ago

 James Marquette was born at the ancient seat,
 he was very desirous of conveying
 Canada and its savage tribes
 on the banks of the St. Lawrence,
 upon which no eye of civilized man
 had ever yet looked.
 At certain seasons of the year
 the Indians came by hundreds,

 endowed with their store-house,
 and, most prominent of all,
 canoes, light as bubbles,
 between the two parties
 of civilized and uncivilized

 sins of the world.

- Phillip Ellis 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Poetry by WG Davies Jr.

Death on I-81

The sunset was a patchwork
of discarded shawls
as if a church bus
may have crashed
and all the women
went to heaven together.

- WG Davies Jr 2013


Imagine a sky so blue,
that from the throat
of a saxophone
new silk and Creole musk.

- WG Davies Jr 2013

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, November 16, 2013

New Poetry by Jonathan Hadwen

The Spring

the printer flutters, deals its cards
there is a machine 
inside the machine
it eats with a spinning brush

something is starting
        lifting from a hill
                like mad brothers
                        bird-envious and proud 

I could lift from here
        a word-engine sputtering
                into the sky

summer starts
      on the spring of an ancient clock
            the oldest thing ever wound

- Jonathan Hadwen 2013

One for Li Po

My ritual
     is to sit on the porch with a beer 
          when I get home from work
all the windows open
     the door propped open
          as I wait for the house to cool
a breeze at my toes
     sometimes beside me
          the drunken moon. 

- Jonathan Hadwen 2013

Jonathan Hadwen is a Brisbane poet.  He was recently named runner-up in the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Strange Meeting

It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now. . . ."

Saturday, November 02, 2013

New Poetry by Michelle Seminara

Three Haiku

blood orange skies -
from burning blue mountains

a wicked westerly 
wind blows in:
we all run for water

black ash blooming
as I swim;
embers falling
on combustible skin

- Michelle Seminara 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Poetry by David Ades

I Am Yours Forever

Even if you never speak of me again,
if my name never passes your lips,

you will not be rid of me:

I will be the genie in your bottle, 
contained within the hold of your silence.

- David Ades 2013

Turning Back After Turning Away

It’s a trick of the eye or sensibility: 
turn away and the place you thought you had reserved 
for yourself in this life, the place it had taken 

so many years to reach, vanishes.  
It isn’t that anyone else has taken it – it’s more 
that you were fooling yourself whilst everything around you

moved at different speeds in different directions,
whilst you let yourself forget that constancy 
was just a construct, a way to absolve anxiety.  

You remember that now and wish you didn’t.

- David Ades 2013

Waiting at the End of a Lit Fuse

Contentment is a kind of death.
Let us have a little, since we’re dying anyway,
a little break from our constant wrestling, 

a rest to stretch our bodies, ease our muscles.
Observe how we ask from others what we cannot give
ourselves, how we lean in, as if towards a secret.

Observe how we want to know  
only what does not confront us
with what we seek to deny, how we look again

to the mirror, how the mirror lies.

- David Ades 2013

David Ades is an Australian poet currently living in Pittsburgh.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am afraid that while the bush fire emergency remains critical in this corner of the world, Bluepepper will not be posting any new poetry or comment.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

All I Did Was Admire Her Aloud
“Quiet, please,” I tell her,
“I want to hear the music.”
She is sitting next to me again,
this time on a paisley couch,
a woman in a lime bikini I met
only this morning sprawled
on the Morse Avenue Beach.
All I did was admire her aloud,
not recognize her age, and an hour later
she brought me home with her.
Now she is curling into me again
and moaning at a remarkable pitch.
Finally she spits into my neck
what it’s all about
this time and every time
“Honey…I am…coming."

- Donal Mahoney 2013

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Poetry by Louise McKenna


Outside our gate she pauses to admire the cumquat tree

with its frozen juggling trick of orange balls.  It proffers

an illusion: the fruit delicious to the eye yet unpalatable as truth.

Bent double by her crippled back, she is close to the branches

as if she might hear conspiracies among the leaves.  I have

no cure for her crooked spine, only these sour little remedies

for a sore throat, or ingredients for the conserve she tells me

she makes, her voice brittle with age.  I tell her she is welcome

as I place them like ballast in her rheumatoid hands.  She fills 

her handbag then turns, shuffles away, vanishing around the street's bend.

A kind of sweetness hangs in the air, conjured from her bitter load

- Louise McKenna 2013

Nurse's Hands

Unlike angels, we have only our hands

to blunt the razor edge of pain.

We need to administer a bitter pill or needle,

to make a poultice of salve and sting–

kindness and cruelty in variable doses.  I have grafted

lightning bolts on to somebody's heart.

I have pulled out the stitches in a wound's hem.

So yes, my hands are more culpable than kind.

But look at the callus and the band of white

where I daily remove my wedding ring.

As my hands alight on you, soft as wings,

look at my face.  It will never betray the agony

of your burden.  I heave it up, like a feather.

- Louise McKenna 2013

Louise's work has also appeared in Cordite Poetry Review and Mascara Literary Review. This year she was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize.

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Poetry by B.Z. Niditch

Playing in a Budapest Cafe

The clock goes off, 1999
in my cold Budapest room
at the Autumnal Equinox
I'm late as usual
for my rehearsal
of Bartok's sonata in C
without excuse
know this music
pierced my sleepwalking
rush downstairs
with a strudel in hand
comb the river
with a cool breeze
by quivering hilly trees
on my tucked out shirt
bells turn up from roofs
where at first light
a cyan blue sky serves
us another color
of unconsumed sunshine
feeling like a third horseman
holding my violin case
sonata notes and rosin bag
close to the poet
Atilla Jozsef's statue
suddenly recalling
as if in a mirrored epiphany
in another world
a critic who telling us
the trio we practiced
underwritten by Szigeti
was influenced
by Benny Goodman
when jazz modulated
our composer's music.

- B.Z. Niditch 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

Porgy On The Stairs
She said;

"You're here looking for redemption just like the rest of us..."
I shook my head and ordered a drink, she did not believe me and laughed, whipping her own shoulder in penitence with the bar rag she had just been using to dry the glasses with. I had the photo palmed in my hand, I gave it one last look before stuffing it into my pocket. From my perch at the end of the bar I would see him as soon as he came in but as I had the taps in front of me and that was where the staff gravitated to when not busy, chances are someone would be talking to me when he came in,the perfect camouflage.

It was tough making my drink stretch out but I could not afford having a buzz on during work, bloody memories of the puppy brothers incident still lingered with some who used to regularly employ me. Finally he came in, stale air and a worried look which rapidly flurried around the room akin to a wild animal that suddenly finds itself inside one of the places of man. By dumb luck I was in the middle of giving a waitress some change for the phone when his eyes fell on me. It took but a second for them to move on, well worth my newspaper money. He made a bee-line for the rear, going out the door with the backwards handle. I counted to twenty five then followed. Years of practice, i opened the door softly but fast, not all the way of course, that was an amateur mistake. As I squeezed through the opening I noticed that Little Walter had started up on the juke box. Stairs, he most likely had gone up to higher ground as most people do when in trouble. I did not want a mess but more importantly I just wanted to be done with this piece of nastiness and collect my fee. I made sure my shoes were tightly tied and pushed back my hat as to better see if i need to glance above me. Soon now it would be over one way or another.

- Wayne H.W Wolfson 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney


I'm just a dog barking,
I tell my wife who's upset
with my yakking on and on
at our weekly meeting
on a Saturday morning
stationed in our recliners
facing forward as if we were
in the same row on a plane 
with the middle seat empty.

I tell her eventually
any dog will stop barking
if you give him a bowl of kibble
or let him in the house
or find his ball and play fetch.
Or do what my mother did
when I was an infant bawling 
and woke my father who faced 
work as a lineman the next day.

My mother would get out of bed,
grab her old bathrobe
and whisk me to the rocker.
Even to this day,
many decades removed,
it's the best solution:
Put a breast in my mouth
and silence will ensue.
Eventually I may even coo.

- Donal Mahoney 2013

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The word is not Schadenfreude

Once again the Oz literary scene has been embarrassed by two blatant acts of plagiarism. In this case both the perpetrators are poets - Graham Nunn and Andrew Slattery. Neither has offered anything resembling an apology for their blatant pilfering of other poet's work, merely the most egregious dissembling. Slattery defended his crime as a "cynical experiment" in the spirit of the hoax poet, Ern Malley of the war years. Nunn merely made some wafty claim to precedent. I think someone needs to point out the italics key on his laptop. If the Avalanches have had to spend a seeming eternity getting permission to sample other people's music, then why should a writer think it appropriate to simply cut and paste the work of others without due acknowledgment, passing it off as their own for their own advancement? 

I will quote the words of the three poets responsible for exposing this travesty, Anthony Lawrence, my good friend Margie Cronin, and David Musgrave. Note the use of italics, dear reader. They denote that these are the words and thoughts of a third party:

Serial plagiarism seems to imply a lack of empathy and, in extreme cases, something like sociopathy. When exposed, some plagiarists say they are simply paying homage to other writers or use words like "collage", "cento" or "sampling". It seems that, even when the game is up and the evidence is irrefutable, the word "plagiarism" just can't be uttered".

Meanwhile, I am still awaiting an explanation from Mr Nunn for my name appearing as a judge at one of his "celebrations of the word" or some such a few years back when I was safely shivering in the mountains well south of the Tweed.

New Poetry by Ivan Jenson

Cougar alert

you wear your heart
on your sleeve
which makes for 
a very sincere 
and bloody mess
you also have 
all but spelled out
the grammatically      
incorrect plans 
you have for me
and your frankly 
forward propositions would
have to be bleeped
out on prime-time TV
and I retreat
from your advances 
because you scared
the smile right off my face
when you hiked your skirt
licked your lips
and winked 
when I was only 
asking for change
for a dollar
so that I could 
feed the starving meter
where I parked

- Ivan Jenson 2013

Ivan Jenson’s Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and Interview magazine. His art has sold at Christie’s, New York. His poems have appeared in Word RiotZygote in my CoffeeCamroc Press ReviewHaggard and HaloPoetry Super HighwayMad SwirlUnderground Voices MagazineBlazevox, and many other magazines, online and in print. Jenson is also a Contributing Editor for Commonline magazine.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

After the first death

I have not let loose on the Bluepepper community for quite some time, and for that I apologise, dear reader. Sadly, I have been pre-occupied with matters of heart and soul and the illness of two very dear friends. One is still with us and thriving, thank you very much. The other, I regret to say is not. The former, the beautiful and talented daughter of one of my oldest friends, has been struggling with mental illness that reached a crisis point a year ago and this has entailed a series of trips to Melbourne by yours truly to lend support as both father figure and friend in the absence of either. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, she is now happily back on track. It was nevertheless a tumultuous six months which at times threatened to consume me, so torn between the conflicting emotions of love and fear was your intrepid blogger. At times I felt like a spider trapped in his own web as a pattern of co-dependency began to develop and I found part of me dreading the day she would recover and no longer need me. My fears proved unfounded, of course, but it took its toll on me nevertheless, and all the while my dog and almost constant companion for 16 years, Buster, was dying. Last Thursday he finally left us quickly and painlessly, leaving those left behind to work through the five stages of grief: Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I am presently hovering somewhere between the first and second stages.

I have become practiced in grief. It is one of the unfortunate side-effects of living the life I have lived for as long as I have lived it. As I write this, Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is playing over the Station Bar speakers. Perhaps no song, and no life of a singer, sums up the consequences and responsibilities of living as does that great anthem of the post-punk era. It has got me thinking of all the great poems of love and loss and mourning, such as Dylan Thomas' "A refusal to mourn the death by fire, of a child in London", with its arresting final line "After the first death there is no other". I think of the underlying sadness in that same poet's "Poem in October", which almost seems to contain the cadence of his own imminent passing. Through all the grief of my past two years, indeed of the past 13 years of my life since my mother left us on this very day in 2000, I have been both consoled and challenged by the East European masters, Zbigniew Herbert and Czeslaw Milosz, not to forget Wislawa Szymborska, all who have experienced grief to an inordinate degree, living when they did where they did, and who all exhibit the same courage and humility in the face of death and loss that seem so sadly absent from our culture.

I admit I have developed a pattern of mourning that involves wine and poetry, but I am only human, dear reader, and I don't believe by doing so I am seeking an easy path. There is no easy path through this life, not if you want to live it to its fullest. That is what the great poets tell us over and over. That is my consolation at the present as I grieve the loss of that avid miraculous little soul, Buster, and what all lovers of poetry know. Which is not to say we are a miserable bunch. Quite the contrary. We are courageous and ever-hopeful or we would not do what we do.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

After Ezra Pound

After all, given the nature of poetry,
it is possible to say naught of
his verse, and yet emulate
aspects of his being, the
burning enthusiasm for others that
burns in the bones and that shakes them
till the poet is working for others
as much for himself or herself.
There is that giving
away of oneself, for others
and for these others as fellow
poets. There is that development
of taste, in winkling out the betters
of one's fellows, those who will profit,
by the looming taste of those to come after
us. There is the living commitment
for the poetry of the self, and
the poetry of the others
as well, the being
that is in each of us
as poets, the dedication
to the development of poetry
as a whole, in parallel to humanity,
and then there is that isness, the cantos.

- Phillip Ellis 2013

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

New Poetry by Craig Kurtz


The drop-off slot is a take-up
reel inside an administrating
system. The calendar is a
canister of isochronal pellets.
Every fossil is an absentee
ballot. This way to the

The interstice is a punch-hole
plug relayed between opposite
channels. Hold up to load.
Increments may be dormant
but the pulleys twist the
focus. The next stop is a

Adduce synthesis from

The aperture conducts touch-
tone variance supporting
suspension operation. Restart
tension to excavate prorating.
Still motion to estimate the
locus, then enter departure

The back-up route is a cross-
hatch vent intersecting district
zones w/ short-term spokes. Open
clause. Prehistoric minutes
measured in microscopes.
Set meter for unmapped

Initiate rotation to

- Craig Kurtz 2013

Craig Kurtz is an autistic 54-year old living at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously handcrafting hammocks. Recent work appears in Bad Robot, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Hyperlexia Journal, Inclement, Otoliths, Out of Our, Penny Ante Feud, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Red Fez, Samzidat Literary Journal and others. 

Vale Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,
Calling another rum
And blackcurrant, without
Having to raise his voice,
Or order a quick stout
By a lifting of the eyes
And a discreet dumb-show
Of pulling off the top;
At closing time would go
In waders and peaked cap
Into the showery dark,
A dole-kept breadwinner
But a natural for work.
I loved his whole manner,
Sure-footed but too sly,
His deadpan sidling tact,
His fisherman's quick eye
And turned observant back.

- from "Casualty" (1979)

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Poetry by Clyde L. Borg


To the dead! Rest!
To the drunk! Rest more!

- Clyde L. Borg 2013

Clyde L. Borg is a retired high school teacher and administrator.  He has been writing poetry and
nonfiction since 1998.  Some of his work has appeared in History Magazine, Fate Magazine, The
Hamilton Stone Review and The Rambler.  He resides in Fords, New Jersey.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Poetry by James Piatt

Ancient Poetic Ruins

Imaginary granite words crush through my
Wandering mind, exposing jagged stone
Memories and vague questions of
Amorphous form, where space, and
Metamorphic matter mix symbolic
Similes into cobblestone sentences:

Unwritten pebbly poems, mumbling in
The insatiable never-land of my being,
Tossed to and fro by rock-strewn allusions,
Along with primordial ideas painted in slate
On fire lit walls of my gravelly soul,
Become stony ephemeral perceptions.

Images of lost poets’ words become
Blurred visions in a dreamlike world,
Disturbing my tranquility: As I sit in the
Eroding scree of rock-strewn reflections
My soul tries to perceive new visions, but
In the tangle of my mind, I only envisage

Paragraphs of flinty allegories where
Words implode into grainy poetic ruins:
I become distantly contented amidst the
Company of dead poets: My fear,
Sitting in the rubble of their entombed existence is

That I will be awakened by acts of morality, and
Be forced to awaken to today’s reality, thus being
Forced to take up my bloody pen against
The sea of chaos in the warring world, and
In doing so, smash what gentleness remains in
My gritty being. As memories of long dead poets, and
Their poems develop into rocky images, I
Pine for that, which is forever gone… or never was.

- James Piatt 2013

James Piatt is a poet from California.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Poetry by Neil Ellman

Before the Blitz 

(after the painting by Paul Klee, 1939)
Before the Blitz
up was up, down was down
we knew the time of day
by the blazing sun
the length of night
by the transit of the moon
across our dreams
green in innocence
we spoke in rhymes
and played a bagatelle
on currents in the air
a moment before
the sky fell in
when down turned up
and up turned down
as time stood still
around an incoherent sun.  

- Neil Ellman 2013

The Mask with the Little Flag

(after the watercolor by Paul Klee)

Every flag in every hue
every stripe
heraldic coat of arms
crosses, crests and stars
perform a masquerade for patriots      
and pierrots
soldiers marching off to war
to die behind their masks
with little flags on shallow graves
without their names.

- Neil Ellman 2013

New Angel

(after the painting by Paul Klee)
Neither a bird nor butterfly
at first unformed
what creature this
with demonic, incipient wings
that dares provoke
the world to fear

new-born, hallowed child
of night
fallen from the maker
of its maker’s mind
an angel first, transmogrified
a bat
would wrap its wings
around the sun
to suffocate the light.

- Neil Ellman 2013

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His first full-length collection, Parallels, consists of more than 200 of his previously published efforts.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

New Poetry by Mark Goad

No Comfort

Expectations are a cheap hope.
Or no hope at all,

come to think of it:  The hopeless
have expectations

too, shaped by sere possibility,
matters not yet fact

but soon to be.  Hope would admit

but that would be impossible,
wouldn’t it?

A dying man hopes to live.
His expectations

bring no comfort.

- Mark Goad 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Words and Images by Wayne H. W Wolfson

                                                Blue Absinthe 1 (Wash Pencil & Paper)                                                                                                

Blue Absinthe Parts 1 & 2

The waitress told me they were having a special for today on it. The cynic in me assumed that either no one was buying it and they were trying to bleed off their stock or that a vendor had given them some sample bottles for a trial run and they just wanted to get rid of it. I had my head down in "Toilers of the Sea" and so passively shrugged my shoulders. She lit a cigarette, her gaze traveling down the street looking for the cat whose territory this area was. The drinks came, it was really blue not the wraith like pastel blue as one would have supposed. I drank it anyways, it was a little sharper than the usual stuff, i popped peanuts from the little white bowl to counter act it. Finishing my drink at first I felt a coolness akin to when one steps outside on a cold winter night, then my body involuntarily shuddered...we were right down the street from home luckily...passing the Hemingway plaque I saluted it as I did when in a good mood. My shoes were cutting into my shirt was pulling tight across my back. Oddly I had to duck my head to get into the door which was not usually the case. I asked her to help me get my shoes off they were killing me with their tightness now. She laughed saying I was lazy as I had drunk much more than this before, I was just being dramatic. My body shuddered again...I got my clothes off just before my height shot up to what I estimated   to be between 12-15 feet. I was not used to the change in perspective nor the extra weight involved in my growth. "We have to cancel dinner..." The only thing that fit was my bathrobe and that covered nothing up, I kept knocking into furniture and bumping my head, I was becoming wound up like an animal from the wild who accidentally finds its way indoors. She petted my hand told me to calm down and suggested I just get into bed as I would be more comfortable and it was safer. I got in bed, she put some Jelly Roll on to further calm me. I was told;
"Ok now breathe in...breathe out...."
The panic stopped. Unless I was on my side or bent my knees I did not fit fully on the bed. The thought of the physical mechanics of us, with me in this state popped into my head. I said her name and was about to give her my look when a railroad spike went right into my forehead killing the mood and causing me to yelp. She said that she would make coffee and if that did not help she would run back to the cafe after to ask the waitress how long the effects lasted.
I drank the coffee which was too hot for my taste out of the little doll cup. I felt tired now.
"Want me to go?"
"You should run down and check, don't mess things up for me there, they just started pouring for me with a heavy hand and throwing free rounds my way, I do not need you ruining a hang out by breaking the waitress's heart. "
Where it not for the rest of the situation she would have pulled more of a face but right now things dipped in my favor on the scoreboard, there was always tomorrow though..

                                           Blue Absinthe 2 (Ink Brush Pen & Paper)                                                          

She said "Why did you drink it again, remember what happened last time?"
I was carefully trying to handle my Stravinsky record which had been reduced to the size of a game board piece. I pretended not to hear her but it was no good, I could feel her staring at me. I shrugged my shoulders.
"How much did you have?"
Before I could, she answered her own question.
"Obviously more, a lot more as you are even bigger than last time,,,,"
I told her I was going out, being careful not to step on the cat whose cries occurred at the same times every day making him a sort of neighborhood clock.

- Wayne H. W Wolfson 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Poetry by Phillip Ellis

Once on a Beach

Once, when I was writing with my fingertips
on a beachbroad slate of sand, I turned to look
to where my feet had marred, and I wondered, then,
whether the wind would easily erase them.

I wondered whether every trace of myself
would suffer the frottage that is erasure,
as the wind would rub away my feet's passage
between its fingers as if contemplating.

And the wind had whispered low, and the sand hissed
as the grains were sporadically hustled in,
and I turned away then, as if born fearful,
afraid to see mortality in the face.

- Phillip Ellis 2013

BIO: Phillip A. Ellis is a freelance critic, poet and scholar. His chapbooks, The Flayed Man, Symptoms Positive and Negative and Arkham Monologues, are available. He is working on a collection for Diminuendo Press. Another has been accepted by Hippocampus Press. He is the editor of Melaleuca. His website is at

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Poetry by John Saunders


(im Shane Dunne)

I am somebody,
or maybe not.
Free bird with the wrought of metal,
a stand-alone – rebellious.

This dislocation of time
against the sunset
throws me a life line
that helps me ride the plains –
identity unframed.

I find a bird grounded
by a broken wing,
cup it to my breast
until its strength is found,
then it flies into the sky,
calls to me from high.

- John Saunders  2013

John Saunders’ first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. His poems have appeared in Revival, The Moth Magazine, Crannog, Prairie Schooner Literary Journal (Nebraska), Sharp Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Boyne Berries, The New Binary Press Anthology of Po etry, Volume 1, Riposte, and on line, The Smoking Poet, Minus Nine Squared, The First Cut, The Weary Blues, Burning Bush 2, Weekenders, Poetry Bus and poetry 24.  

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

New Poetry by Nathanael O'Reilly

Ode to a Coffee Pot

Ah, Bodum! For two decades
you have travelled across the seas
my constant portable companion
dwelt with me on three continents
and never ceased to provide
comfort when called upon

Together we crossed the Széchenyi
endured American autumns in exile
survived a London winter in poverty
enjoyed marvellous homecomings
I gently spoon freshly-ground
Colombian coffee into you
and fill you with boiling water
let you brew on your own
allow you to take your time
like a teenage girl smoking
on the front step
of a run-down milk bar
before pressing your plunger
slowly towards your base

Together we make lovely liquid
smooth as the fleece of a vicuña
let us continue collaborating
far into the future
I will continue to protect you
whether journeying
or staying home, dear Bodum

- Nathanael O'Reilly 2013

Nathanael O'Reilly is the author of Exploring Suburbia: The Suburbs in the Contemporary Australian Novel Poetry Reviews Editor for Transnational Literature President of the American Association of Australasian Literary Studies (AAALS).