Friday, April 26, 2013

New Poetry by Ivan Jenson

Magic Bread

If you think it can 
be learned
then by all means
apprentice yourself
to a local sorcerer
and see if he can
show you how to 
saw your problems 
in half 
or levitate
above your competition
but as a practitioner
of the dark art
of bringing truth
to light by telling
little white lies 
and punctuating 
it with a punch
line to the psychic
I can attest 
to my fakery 
and admit the flat bread
made by my bakery
is dry like rye
and like life
the first half devoured
the second 
savored and scattered
and what ever is left
is crummy 
and for the birds
that fly out of hats

- 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. Ivan Jenson's debut novel Dead Artist is available as a paperback and on Amazon Kindle and Nook. His new novel, a psychological thriller entitled Seeing Soriah is now available as an eBook or in Paperback on Amazon.  A collection of Ivan Jenson's drawings and poetry will soon be published by Hen House Press, New York.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Poetry by Julie Maclean

on love and war Gallipoli style

Contiki bus down a dirt road
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda 
on cd       The melancholy version I loved
Should I laugh or cry
on my way  
to the Nek
Lone Pine 
carrying the message
in faux rendering
in a gully, on the beach 
dot dot dash

I was in the wrong place in '87
Missing in Action
an old flame declared Love
GPS not on   not on 

Back home in slow motion
distressed by a freeze frame
at the end of the film
Bullet straight
to the heart of the story
I sobbed in the toilet
of the Wonthaggi cinema

Ataturk calls us brothers,
Your Johnny, Our Mehmet

What do you think?
Could I?
Could you?
I feel
Will you still love me?

Trenches dug   Daggers punched
love letters in the walls

White crosses
flicked over
like pages
of bad fiction 

- Julie Maclean 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Poetry by James Mirarchi

Designer of  mushy Nickelodeon carrot cake stage
has dandruff-dolls in his hair
They’ve set up oil rigs on his scalp
to drill for creativity
When geyser erupts
they catch designer’s ideas in buckets
Then rappel down ropes of his greasy hair
onto floor where dust-trains
transport them to designer’s colleague
A man whose only accomplishment
is a lawsuit-attracting lemon slide
The dandruff-dolls hand over buckets to him
Within them
he singles out striking concept for crunchy Nickelodeon blueberry pie ramp
While trying to consummate this idea
he fails numerous times
since the main ingredient that is sorely missing
is Heart

- James Mirarchi 2013

James Mirarchi grew up in Queens, New York. In addition to his poetry collections, Venison and Dervish, he has written and directed short films, which have played at festivals. His poems have appeared in Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Poydras Review, gobbet, Boyslut, Bluepepper, The Mind[less] Muse, Dead Snakes, The Recusant, Subliminal Interiors Magazine, and Clockwise Cat.

Friday, April 19, 2013

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Caseworker Determining Eligibility

Cabrini-Green Projects
Chicago, 1963

The child, age two, hammocked in the half
moon of his mother’s arms, is locked
in palsy, yet moves an eyelid as I ask,
moves the other as his mother answers,
application form interrogation.
The father was a white policeman.
“Curiosity,” the mother says. “No more.
I didn’t go with him for money.”

- Donal Mahoney 2013

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in Bluepepper and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his work can be found at

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Poetry by Barbara De Franceschi


Songbirds find reason to splash
the bush track with cheerful trill.
I cannot hear,
too many deaf ears.
The mooted thud of dusk
invites another solitary night.
Eyes are blind, I miss the colours –
magenta and gold,
sunset mesmerises the horizon
with a peaceful calm
that does not stroke my skin.
I am hag stones in reverse,
unable to protect the heart,
or join fairies as they frolic
in rain-bubbles dripping
from branches laden
with a passing shower.
When did I transform
from an open wind into a closed sky?
Mettle is unwilling to share
the resilience of spear grass growing
in hardy tussocks amongst the rocks,
breath is tannic from the lack
of distilled love words.

- Barbara De Franceschi 2013

Barbara De Franceschi lives in Broken Hill. Besides two collections of poetry, her work has been published widely in Australia, in other countries, on-line and featured on radio. Since 2010 Barbara has engaged with the ENRICH programme (Enhanced Rural Remote Inter-professional Cultural Health) to determine if art based modules (e.g. creative writing) can be beneficial to health professionals in clinical practices by increasing skills such as observation, interpretation and communication.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Poetry by Gerald Bosacker

BOMB BRAVE     Boston April 15,2013

You could view this killer on any street
but of all assassins you unknowing meet
horribly worst would be the coward disgrace
who lacks the courage to wear his face.
Apart from his murders must this weakling hide,
struck cowardly mute, bereft of claimed pride
not seeking blessing of his brutal deed
but somehow urged with his twisted creed.    
A clandestine bully, confused by blind hate
could ambush with bomb to assassinate
who he deems deserving, from borrowed throne,
anyone guilty of sin exceeding his own.

- Gerald Bosacker 2013

Note: While Bluepepper is not in the habit of publishing "newstand" verse, this seemed to us a special case.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

New Poetry by Jim Piatt

The Stone

I have eternity in my being, but
My body is turning to sand
Under a hot August, sun:
The Sycamore tree is not as old
As I, but it is not turning to sawdust.
The river is much younger than
I, yet she is drying up . . . now just a
Lonely trickle in a stream bottom,
Who sets this all in motion?
Who allows her to dry up and
Me to turn to sand, yet saves the tree?

- Jim Piatt

Sunday, April 07, 2013

New Poetry by Gerald Bosacker


My parents  don’t agree with me
that broccoli is poisonous .
They  need an expert’s help to see
the reason why I fume and fuss.
I’d eat mud turtle fricassee
but nothing’s more ridiculous 
than momma's creamed broccoli.

- Gerald Bosacker 2013

Gerald Bosacker, Poet and tale teller lives in Arkansas, retired from the corporate world where he was successful although miscast as Vice President of a large chemical company. He now does penance for his sins against the environment with his anti-war activism and poetry.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

New Poetry by Phillip A. Ellis

I Dream no More

My forebones crack while smiling, groan and grind
when my lips whisper, speak my heart's thin pain
(as cold and sly as rain that coats the pane)
and rattles, gnashes at night, against its rind
while I am falling far from my split mind,
a comet caught by the sun, its brilliant reign
hating the very thought of healthy rain;
despair, depression, deep ennui? Its kind.

I dream no more, lest dreams become as life:
I smile, my face collapses, falls apart,
releases the stench of weary, gnawing strife;
I dream no more, lest dreams fall stricken numb
like birds ensnared in lime, gravity's heart,
their tongues all torn apart and written dumb.

- Phillip A. Ellis 2013

Sonnet IV

Down in the chambers of an animal's heart
is the rhythm that powers the interplay
of Persian and sparrow,
the inexorable play of predator and prey
that echoes through the arms race of evolution;
when the cat stalks a bird I see it embodied,
in the play of muscles and hungering instinct
that also echoes through the songs of songbirds.

This is neither the time nor sestet
to mark that the process ends with all parties
running on the spot, as time turns the wheel
that sets the world in motion underneath,
like a treadmill or turntable powering the encounter
between fur and feather on the patio.

- Phillip A. Ellis 2013

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

In the loop

I have just heard down that great chain of robbers, the interwebz, that Tasmania's Island magazine have joined its only vaguely more terrestrial and iron-hearted true blue Overland, in only considering submissions from those who subscribe. Go figure in an apparently pluralistic society. The latter mag all for social engineering, the  former for, well, good old liberal whatever, but both with an apparent intolerance for anything resembling an audience beyond the jealous confines of St Kilda or Sandy Bay. 

As a failed publisher many times over (OK, twice), I appreciate there can be certain pressures, but in this case if, as I assume, the plug has been pulled from above, why not let the old dears die and move on?  Ivor Indyk manned up with Heat, but then I have always judged him to be made of sterner stuff than most.

I count myself one of a tiny minority that actually continues to subscribe to literary publications, but that's mainly because I like receiving parcels in the mail. I would never assume that because I am on one list I have earned automatic access to the other, to be both producer and consumer of product, but that appears to be the business model these two literary dinosaurs are going with.

Oh, and contrary to what the editors of such forlorn periodicals like to tell us, poets are not in fact the only audience for poetry, as my broad experience of people outside the fraternity (yes, I know, I mingle!) has taught me. But when you are peddling such a business model I guess it doesn't hurt to maintain the illusion.

New Poetry by James Mirarchi

From a pulpit
a reserved raccoon with a love for classical music
quietly berates me
for fraternizing with some reality TV raccoons
these celebrity creatures had burglarized my home
stealing my plasma television and Stephenie Meyer book collection
They even mooned my neighbors while fleeing with their cameraman
But the sycophant I am – still decides to hang with them
They teach me the fine art of garbage-sniffing
Climbing trees in Zorro masks
And alluringly posing with head tilted down in attack stance
All telecast for the world to see
I’m even recruited as a videographer
for an all-raccoon Pilates show
I’m so honored to be associated
with these exemplary extroverts
so different from their more shy nocturnal relatives

- James Mirarchi 2013

James Mirarchi grew up in Queens, New York. In addition to his poetry collections, Venison and Dervish, he has written and directed short films, which have played at festivals. His poems have appeared in Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Poydras Review, gobbet, Boyslut, The Mind[less] Muse, Dead Snakes, The Recusant, Subliminal Interiors Magazine, and Clockwise Cat.