Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Poetry by Dane Karnick

Full Moon

After the sculpture by Louise Nevelson, 1980

The side we never see
With its rugged terrain
Shown in the telescope

Of dreams resolving
Lunar highlands into
Rocky slabs that stack

Against the wakeful state
Struggling to apprehend
Celestial sight

Over cataleptic dirt
From the opposite end
We have learned to ignore

Forming that restless sense
Between hemispheres like
A spell that can’t be broken

Through phases of light as
We wait to catch a glimmer
On the cusp of malice

- Dane Karnick 2017

Dane Karnick grew up by the Colorado “Rockies” and lives near Seattle.  His poetry recently appeared in Poppy Road Review, Treehouse Arts, Scarlet Leaf, riverrun and Vacpoetry.  Visit him at www.danekarnick.com.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Poetry by Abigail George

Stranger made of flesh and Nineveh

(for Ambronese)

    Burn bright tonight tigers inside
    this room. Bring me courage so
    delicate. The sensation of falling. Jerusalem. Moses. Desert country.
The ancient knowledge of the importance of
    family. Scarlet thread to patchwork
    the burning tapestry of my soul.
I’ve been wounded before all of this.

I’m crying and I don’t know why I’m crying.

    Living with illness has done this
    to me. Coming home from the sea
    we have a shared interest for the
rural. Obituary. Sympathy for grassroots and
    community. Proof that singing in
the rain could not dampen our spirits. Our prayer
    for the eternity of the grace of the
    tomorrow-land of mountain-roots.
The blue light persists. Exists only to promise
    moral scorching. A wasteland of
    gathering stages of spring decay and
    pollen falling like dandelion clocks
all around. Such is the strange nature of illness
    and the authentic mud season in the
    garden. Leaves lyrical. We’re the
    hope. The soul on fire almost spiritual.
    All I see is a field that burns me up.
    Flowers survive in the moonlight.

Anointed with perfume and music schools.
After dreamy-loneliness and death comes a

    world of concern. Grief brings with it
    silence. Love that can move planets.
    All writers are poets in their own way.
    The rain saved me. It always saved
    me. Breathed life back into me. I’m
    only in need of a survival-kit. Little-fed
    waves of afternoon sunlight. Believe
    in me is all that I ask of the men and

    women in my life. Fish swim towards
the nature of life. The psychological compass of its
    wet valleys and runaway plankton.
    Picturesque sea don’t forget about me.
    My strong limbs swimming against
the current. It is wild out there. A church.

Woman with the graceful neck you must love me.

- Abigail George 2017

Pushcart Prize nominee for her fiction "Wash Away My Sins", Abigail George is a South African blogger, essayist, poet, short story writer and aspirant novelist. She is the recipient of writing grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg, the Centre for the Book in Cape Town and ECPACC in East London. She briefly studied film and television production at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. Her literary work has been published in various anthologies, numerous times in print in South Africa and in e-zines based in Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Finland, the UK, the United States, and across African in Nigeria and Istanbul, Turkey.

This year her work has appeared and is forthcoming from Dying Dahlia Review, Fourth and Sycamore, Gnarled Oak, Hamilton Stone Review Spontaneity, Off the Coast, Prong and Posy, Spontaneity, and Snow Jewel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Poetry by Peter Venable

Back On The Grid

Even off the grid, during coffee,
bishops’ diagonal, knights’ jackleg and ripple
the black surface. The king bubbles on the bottom.

Not yet—later. Right. The queen,
graven on the cup, taunts, bares an ankle until

I robot to the screen, key “Expert.” 8x8 grid opens.
16 pawns genuflect; backrow regalia armed to pounce.
Black and white as there ever was. 

The first pawn spawn’s today’s metastasis,
square to square, row to row, one by one they fall.

Beaten. Again. By Deep Blue’s kindergartener. 
Damnit! Never      ever      resign—
X it off the grid. Start again. 

- Peter Venable 2017

Peter Venable has written both free and metric verse for over fifty years and been published in such witty poetry journals as Bluepepper, Parody, Word Riot, Laughing Dog, Lighten Up Online, Hobo Pancakes and The Asses of Parnassus.  He is an amateur writer and published poet, @ petervenable.com.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New Poetry by Linda Stevenson

Going Bush

Oh that’s surfeit. That’s one too many
over the odds. I want to move on now,
hurry up and head for the bush,
my loaded self propped clumsily
in a back seat, on torn upholstery.
Drive off, driver, if not into the sunset,
then down a road of unlikely return.
See, wattle wraiths the verge;
I like that, haloes of pinprick otherness,
rash bloom defying straight, light
messing about with space, dawn.
Let me breathe. It’s enough, enough
to be gone from fretful ignorance,
the gormless floundering of small egotism
scrabbling for a place in chaos.
See, the cool bright slivers
of reasonable morning
find their centre
in a generous scheme,
discover the precise way
to shine on down, learn there’s no worth
in a sole dominance,
mixing it up instead like instruments
playing immersion jazz.
This turn here, fording,
and we’re secluded, can pause here,
escapees, rescued by being,
breathing, breathing easily.

- Linda Stevenson 2017

A founding member of Melbourne Poets Union, facilitator of poetry groups in gaols and community centres, contributor to anthologies. Chapbook “The Tipping Point” published in 2015, feature guest poet on Radio 3CR “Spoken Word”. Active as a poet within the online poetry sector, hosts regular Salons at her home in Frankston, Victoria.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Bluepepper is taking a much-needed and long-overdue sabbatical. We will return on 23/10/17 laden with snaps and a lungful of sea air. Until then, keep your writing breeches on.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New Poetry by John Robbins

Rejection Slips

The young always assume the burden of ignorance .
Believing there words are the first to know rejection .

They feel the emotion, yet do not grasp the truths only time teaches .

Madness takes time my sweet .
It has been a long road to become so perfectly demented .

And I can cover my walls in rejection .

Always take something from the emptiness it leaves behind .

If a no is all it takes to break you.

Then this is the wrong line of work for you.

Anyone can blow smoke up your ass.

It's the bitter truths that sharpen the steel .

One day nothing will make you bleed but your own hands.

- John Robbins 2017

John Patrick Robbins is a barroom poet who's work has appeared in Inbetween Hangovers, Your One Phone Call , Red Fez , Ramingos Porch , Spill The Words and the Outlaw Poetry Network . His work is always a hundred percent unfiltered .

Monday, October 09, 2017

New Poetry by Jon Bennett

Here and Away

I was here all day
I stood, I sat
I took a shit
I ate
but not too much
not too little

I felt bad though
being here all day
How do you do it?
Was I ever a child
amused by
a cricket crawling
from under
a fallen leaf?

- Jon Bennett 2017

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.  Most recently his work has appeared in Zombie Logic Review and In Between Hangovers, and is forthcoming in The Indiana Voice, The Bees are Dead, and Degenerate Literature. You can find more of his work on Pandora, iTunes and other music websites.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

New Poetry by Jake Sheff

A Girl on the Tire Swing

As if the pendulum and wheel are time
I push and eagerly await my child’s 
return. As if her face is capable
of starting wars, this mother of my timid
and secret prayers and doubts, I push this vine
that never snaps. (Of dogbane, with their saps
of milky irritants and poisons.) Dips
and doubles back; as if our changing minds
and past events are like the winds, I wed
my daughter to such specious whims. The killdeer
was putting on a show at Jerry’s pond
the other day, as if an injured wing
prevented her from flying off. It thrilled her,
like I once was; alas, there’s no such thing. 

- Jake Sheff 2017

Jake Sheff is a major and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married with a daughter and three pets. Currently home is the Mojave Desert. Poems of Jake’s are in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, The Cossack Review and elsewhere. His chapbook is “Looting Versailles” (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible.