Monday, June 30, 2014

New Poetry by Donal Mahoney

Mostly Basie with a Little Bach

Whenever I see a new woman, I know 
I should look at her hair and her eyes and her smile  
before I decide if she's worth the small talk
and the dinner later 
and whatever else she may require 
before she becomes taffy, 
pliant and smiling. 
But that never works for me.
Whenever I see a new woman, 
what matters to me is never 
her hair or her eyes or her smile;

what matters to me is her saunter 
as I stroll behind her.
If her moon comes over the mountain
and loops in languor, left to right, 
and then loops back again,
primed for another revolution, then
I introduce myself immediately
no matter where we are, 
in the stairwell or on the street
and that's when I see for the first time
her hair and her eyes and her smile  
but they are never a distraction since
I'm lost in the music of her saunter.

Years ago, tall and loping Carol Ann
took a train to Chicago, 
found a job and then one summer day 
walked ahead of me on Michigan Avenue 
while I surveyed her universe amid 
the cabs screeching, horns beeping, 
a driver's middle finger rising. 
Suddenly she turned and said hello 
and we shook hands and I saw her smile 
dart like a minnow and then disappear 
as she frowned and asked   
why was I walking behind her. 

I told her I was on my way to the noon Mass
at Holy Name Cathedral and she was welcome 
to come along. The sermon wouldn't be much, 
I said, but the coffee and bagels afterward 
would be plentiful, enough to cover lunch.
And Jesus Christ Himself would be there.
She didn't believe me, not at all, 
and she hasn't believed me since. 

That was thirty years ago and now
her smile is still a minnow
darting here and there but now 
it's more important than her saunter 
which is still a symphony, 
mostly Basie with a little Bach.

And I no longer traipse Michigan Avenue 
as I did years ago looking for new moons 
swirling in my universe. Instead, 
I take my lunch in a little bag 
on a long train from the suburbs
and I marvel at one fact:
It's been thirty years since I first heard 
the music in her saunter
and Carol Ann and I are 
still together, praise the Lord. 
Who can believe it? Not I. 
Carol Ann says she knew 
the ending from the start. 
Lord, Almighty. Fancy that.

- Donal Mahoney 2014

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney 
has had poetry and fiction published in The Galway Review, Revival, ROPES and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 
Some of his earliest work can be found at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Poetry by Vladimir Swirynsky


- for Barbara

Her name is Elizabeth Bishop,
bare footed and tipsy toe hanging
a picture on the wall, afternoon
peaking with the wrap-around-drama
of heavy drinking.
Half finished poem
in the typewriter reaches
out for the moon, for Lota
Lota de Macedo Soares.

I find myself with a tear in my eye,
the Cleveland International Film
Festival ushering me to love’s
doorstep, a hundred paces from
the House of Blues.

I needed this, the profane energy
of the Portuguese Romance language,
a chance encounter, the stop-motion
of happiness that keeps betraying me.

lover of stone steps, the painter
of beauty, give me the empty hours
of mood indigo, the things the heart
has forgotten, the shoestring
of a sunset.

Vladimir Swirynsky 2014

 Vladimir Swirynsky survived school and went on to serve and survive in Vietnam. In time he got married, but unfortunately, they didn’t live happily ever after. The marriage died, but a poet was born.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Poetry by James Walton

Pax Romanus (I, II, III)

Spare us, the Conquered


The fascist weeds the garden
Such love in pulling out,
Care granted to save the soil and replenish
With self made compost of previous remains.
They should have known his bitter truth
Of all he did for them unrequited;
In gentle torture he weeps for his people,
And how the day goes down so normally
As the lorries remove without haste
The handiwork so finely crafted,
To bring in bloom again
The preferred order of lines.


The comrades have been in a good paddock
How they strut their fat nonsense,
Believe the message is about them
So polished now and commentators
On everything thing they know and don’t.
Credit cards of bosses in hand
Wheel and deal with the best of them,
Stroke the impatient flank
Believe the stories they tell
With such ferocious plausibility,
Saddle the old chargers
Taunt the capitalists with rust
Shake the state with the workers’ flag.


Death squads have no imagination
The graffiti has only one colour,
A backwash where the pockmarks
Are the dots we link with rainbows
Made from the tears of all lovers
Children mother father brother sister.
The old city glistens in this rain
Painted with our crayons,
Ground out each night with the latest news
Who is missing who will fight.
So  many colours stain our fingers
They make us face the wall now,
Not knowing  never seeing that hope
Is streaming incandescently
From the streetlamps in our hands.

- James Walton 2014

Lives and works in the Strzelecki Mountains in South Gippsland and has had work published in a number of anthologies and journals, and the Age newspaper.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Poetry by Jeremy Page

Measuring Happiness

I suppose it would be possible
with enough scans, syringes,
charts and such, to say
with some certainty, ‘This is,
on the favoured scale, how
happy you are: seventy two.’

Not bad. Of course, not like IQ –
one expects less (fluctuations, too).
How one feels, recorded quarterly
and plotted. In five years
we could look back at our lives
like a seismograph:

compare notes, print and frame
certificates, give medals to those
nearest the top, the most improved.
‘Keep it up son,’ we’d say.
‘What improvement!’ ‘What growth!’
Like biro markings of height 

in a door frame. Yet, as we age
I suppose the medals, the certificates
would, like pens long out of ink,
be put in a drawer somewhere:
lost and forgotten about.
One can only get so tall.

- Jeremy Page 2014

Born in New Zealand in 1988, Sydney-based poet Jeremy Page has just completed a Master of Creative Writing at the University of Sydney. He was first published last year in the Australian anthology Stoned Crows, and with his study complete (for now) he is currently in the process of collecting and editing work for further publication attempts.

New Poetry by Robbie Coburn


greyed morning a nightmare of waking into sobered light
the chilled palm still formed on the glass 
dry skin settles into the gale air without radiance
after blacked sleep  surges of wind disturb the senses
delusion  sets into consciousness   propels 
further obscurities   as the eye adjusts
    to be a poet is to live with ghosts
leaving the house  think of  misjudged breath 
fleeting in the lengths of unfamiliar bodies
and the night  no different wiped in its unresolved law
run through the miles of road   cars carried cityward 
grounded in the country dirt spread beneath brick as cinder
     in the centre of this thought continues   nausea lasting days
even this   passes time before the game
 will realise itself.

- Robbie Coburn 2014

robbie coburn was born in June 1994 in Melbourne and lives in the rural district of Woodstock, Victoria. 
His first book-length collection of poetry 'Rain Season' (Picaro Press) was published in 2013. He is well into a second collection, titled 'the other flesh'. 
A chapbook, 'Before Bone and Viscera' is forthcoming from Rochford Street Press in 2014.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

New Poetry by Colin Dodds

The Urgent Center Expands

The urgent center expands,
takes the newspaper as its skin.

As it went in history,
so ran the NFC wildcard game.
The religiopolitical Saints
overran the astrological Rams.

Aside from that, the story was familiar and unchanged.

The linemen were terrifying,
though easily persuaded, hulks.

The receivers were handy
with the razor and the getaway.

The running backs went straight home
and would be foremen someday.

And the quarterback was the driven patrician
with nothing but an immense promise
and an immense burden for a life.

- Colin Dodds 2014

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. He’s the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” Dodds’ screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

New Poetry by Michele Seminara

Pi├Ęce de Shakespeare 
Come, sheathe your dagger definitions 
the Father, Word, and Holy Breath,  
the swan of Avon, has returned to die.

Lord of language, auric egg, 
he lies laid out in stiffness 

bronzelidded in the secondbest bed, 
lips twisted by Venus into prayer,
coffined thoughts embalmed in a spice 
of words which rise like crooked smoke 
up to the nostrils of God.

Why even his errors are portals to discovery!
Following his lean unlovely lines
through spaces smaller than red globules of blood
we creepycrawl after his buttocks 
meeting robbers, ghosts, old men, young men, 
wives, widows, brothers-in-love;
the molecules all changing, the I becoming other,
the unquiet father reborn in the son 

but always, always, as we walk through him
we are walking into ourselves.
* A found poem sourced from chapter 9 of James Joyce’s Ulysses

- Michele Seminara 2014

New Poetry by Joseph Robert

Winter’s Clotting

Licking at the chary red hard candy
Of a liquid nitrogen cauterized wrist
I see you settle on your haunches to lap at it
In a wide open parking lot, dreary and grey slushy
Sweating, nervous and convincing myself
By moaning at uncaring passersby that it’s
Really rather quite charming in a way that is
Rather too excruciating to describe:
I hacked the hand off with my replica samurai sword
But that simply makes you worship the invalid
More and more
Snowflakes melt on your upturned brow
Lick like a momma cat, Sick Kitten,
A shudder amid big explosions of empty
I go and I come, time travelling again and again
To the solstice 

- Joseph Robert 2014

Joseph Robert's poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Decanto, Unlikely Stories, Dead Snakes, Mistress Quickly's Bed, The Commonline Journal, Pyrokinection, Mudjob, The Journal, Spinozablue, Black Mirror, Message in a Bottle, Eunoia Review, Inclement and the Insert Coin Here anthology. His poetry chapbook with wife Leilanie Stewart has been reviewed at Sabotage. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Poetry by Bruce McRae

It Touches Us

Tragedy lurks behind a buttercup.

It throws its voice down in the dust,
circling anti-clockwise on its insect-legs,
scribbling ambush in your diary,
singing like a window breaking.

Tragedy travels badly.
To be kissed by this abomination
is much like suffering frostbite.
Already the hours are missing.
Already there's a knife in the bed.

Mockery is its prime art,
its playground an earthen cellar,
its school hall a cold bath.
How many centuries has it looked up
at the stars from its well-bottom?

Beyond faith, luck, trust,
and God and love . . .
In the eyes of animals.
In the book of the soul.
In a time without time.

And you, with your soft hands,
safe house and niceties;
tragedy loves you best of all.
Already you're outwitted,
and the buttercup mourned.

- Bruce McRae 2014

Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including and The North American Review. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website:, or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube.

Friday, June 06, 2014

New Poetry by JD DeHart


the way the small one clings
you can tell she is a biter
with rows and rows of teeth
belied by the sweet expression
she gnaws the tender hand
of mother, will one day
break away, like all children do,
barely call, certainly not write
(who writes any more?)
arranging her own fragmented
adulthood from whatever scraps
she can find around a local bar

- JD DeHart

JD's writing has appeared in Eye On Life Magazine and Eunoia Review, among other publications.