Wednesday, October 30, 2019

New Poetry by Rob Schackne

This meditation

This meditation
on the soul
you resisted
now I guess
the laughter
jesus what a veil
the day in the pub
football and beer
shouts and insults
stupid fights
a father at sixteen
the wrong mates
prison time
a long road
now you're back
the same town
not even your town

- Rob Schackne 2019

Born in New York, Rob lived in many countries until Australia finally took him in. He was a Foreign Expert EFL teacher in China for many years. He now lives in a small Victorian country town, and enjoys the fresh air, the birds and the sunshine. There were some extreme sports once; now he plays (mostly) respectable chess and pool. He listens to the Grateful Dead. When he's not writing, he likes taking photographs.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

New Poetry by James Walton

Full English Breakfast

I will admit I’d like to have hair like Jennifer Aniston
from that show years ago something so luxurious and wild
starlings could gobble in and out of it lost toys might
occasionally reboot you know the plastic confederate
soldier his pedestal missing and a yo-yo done in doing
the walking the dog when some kid who was supposed
to be a friend stuck his foot out and your knees got grazed
and bloody and the whoop whoop of a surfacing submarine

or that curly dirty snow avalanche of the guy from Queen
the one who’s still alive a straggle grand as an old mop
dragged through the wringers on a rusty metal bucket
you know that flick and look over the shoulder arrogance
of never ceasing growth a kind of capitalism by follicle
larger than the GDP of several nations washed by an
Olympic sized pool of shampoo where a friend’s lost
rescue cat meows out all slick and unhappy with the shine

not to have look down in the morning at the comb over
on my toes as I tumble like an unwrapping mummy
from the too small shower coffin cubicle to carefully
brush my tonsure for breakfast where the hotel restaurant
tables are spilling over with a tsunami of well-dressed suits
thinking how the combined coiffure of my shoulders nose
and ears might give Jen a run for her money when I hear
I don’t speak Mandarin but you can have the Full English Breakfast

- James Walton 2019

James Walton is published in many anthologies, newspapers, and journals. He is the author of four collections of poetry, 'The Leviathan's Apprentice' 2015, 'Walking Through Fences' 2018, 'Unstill Mosaics' 2019, and 'Abandoned Soliloquies', forthcoming.

Friday, October 25, 2019

New Poetry by John Grey

The Storyteller

she transposes
small lives
into wondrous events -
            a quiet woman who raised
            her own three    now grown –
they lived before,
under blankets of long ago,
fleece in colors you can’t imagine,
or simply
good and evil,
evil so dangerous
 it has become precious,
for hands to fondle -
you can tell it is well-worn
her narrative
but sacred fables never tire
(must we go to sleep)
to hear her hands
weave in such a way
that speech is forever complemented,
            (they sleep)
story ends but she is still creating,
syntax abandoned,
              for dreams -
threads of light
in the vast fabric of darkness

- John Grey 2019

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Poetry by Abigail George

I don't want to be a figure mothers lean their children into

(for Dorothy Dandridge)

Follow my lead. Heal me, but only if you accept the pain
and suffering of my painted soul. I wanted you to save from tortured
 loneliness, anxiety, fear, but you walked away from me on an
August day. I think of you, the golden branch bowing down
to meet me, you smell like heat, and dust, loving. I want you
to know that I've never stopped loving you. I want to feel you,
the knowledge of you, all your contours, your love, I want,
I want, I want. I'm am left by you wanting, waiting, I moved
 from city to city with my roots of grief, chapters of my mother’s life
singing in my ears like opera, or classical music, overwhelmed

by my status I am winter, and summer, and spring, but you’re a
 lake of snow in a field. Everywhere I go I see you; I feel you in a
glance, or stare. In autumn I live free. You're not here, you
don't love me either, not in the way that I predict, or, want you to.
Now I live so free, and unattached. I look for you mostly in
the television, mostly in the newspaper, and then I dream a
little dream of you. Only you know that I love you. You're the
bridges of Madison County, you're Mishka, dew, Streep, and
I am the outcast. I am the tomcat Updike, Hemingway-supreme,
Robert Lowell. Heal my broken wings. Take me into your arms,

 because after all I am yours. Yours to protect when I submit to
you. Pray for my addiction, my alcoholism, for I am a kind of forward girl,
 and interviewed. You will find me if you look hard enough. But
you're not looking hard enough for some reason. It seems that
time has stood still for some reason. Am I the survivor? The
women will do anything for you. You take them to bed, you kiss
and adore them. You don't take me to bed, you're not kissing me,
you don't worship and adore me. It's a shame. You don't know me at all.
So, I let go of vertigo. This is planting season, meat season,
weed season. I’m going to be in love with the same man for

the rest of my life. Look, at this rib-cage, patella, adrenaline,
look at me. Look at this barren body. See the measures of this
infertility in my smile, my pose, my walk, my talk, the nature of
my physical body, and yes, once I had the capacity to love.
I had flowers of it, rooms for it to grow in. I’m on my own
 again, in this world overcome with opioids, hours, overwhelmed
by the shroud of darkness, clouds like vapor in my coffee.
but there’s the stars, the moonlight, the decay of the wilderness
holding me back. I’m wiser. I’m older. Confidence is king. You said
you’d never hurt me, but it gave me wisdom in the end, king.

- Abigail George 2019

Abigail George is a South African writer and poet.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

New Poetry by Joanna M. Weston

Somewhere Else

I found my brother sitting
feet dangling into nowhere
falling off the earth
into … where?
an ocean of air
he could swim in?
an alien land?

what could he see
into the nothing
beyond the edge?
I’ve often wondered
where he went
just where is he

- Joanna M. Weston 2019

Joanna has one cat, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Frame and The McGuire', published by Tradewind Books 2015; and poetry,  ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’, published by Inanna Publications, 2016. Other books listed at her blog:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

New Microfiction by Wayne H W. Wolfson

50's Riffin

 The place was upstate & in the middle of nowhere. She had heard about it from some of her friends. No one said what actually went on there but merely alluded to it w/slightly arched brows. The boy her parents insisted she spend time w/. “I know where we can go…” The drive was mostly done in silence as the small talk that they had attempted made it seem even more awkward. For his part, the forced jocularity he had tried out made him instantly think of his father and so his mouth snapped shut with no sound but much force. The ride was just long enough for the night quiet that surrounded them to become exciting, as if they were at the start of becoming co-conspirators.
 There were some cars parked unevenly out front.
 He took her hand and they went through the door. At first they had both been scared. Julia had been so frightened that much like the accident when she was younger, she became very quiet and although she moved, radiated a stillness. All of this kicked in before she actually became calm. For his part, his nerves remained a sea whose surface continued to roil. He looked at her, she was so calm, his palm was a wet guilty verdict.

 Julia looked all around. A few people were holding beer bottles with the necks between their fingers like a piece of sporting equipment for a game with which they are only vaguely familiar. Antonella was slow dancing in the middle of the room. She had never been one of the pretty girls, the group within the group of burgeoning women. But after summer vacation word got around that she had done more than any of her better looking peers and this was parlayed into a type of popularity. All the times that she was ignored, she was now getting hers, insisting that her boyfriend dance with her.
 Some of the boys sit on the lip of the fireplace, cigarettes dangling from their bottom lips, nudging each other with their shoulders and giggling.
 In very little time Julia realized that there was nothing to be frightened of, this was just a giant playhouse with children playing at being adults. An entire night of watching the behavior of others, the effect similar to someone trying to describe a movie which they had not seen but merely had heard about, adulthood. Her date never fully relaxed and for the rest of her life Julia always gravitated towards men who were more frightened than her.

- Wayne H W. Wolfson 2019

Thursday, October 03, 2019

New Poetry by Jean Bohuslav

Majenka’s Account

My name is Majenka
Resident of Vine Street since birth
Wendy Smith flew her kite in my street
I could have caught her by the ankle
as she rose overhead, but didn’t
It was her business, her new kite
Her frilly dress and patent shoes 
she wore to play

She smiled at me before I
watched her float over houses 
Golden locks stretching 
She must have planned it …
Why dress like that in gusty weather

I caught her teardrop on my apron
Its stain spoke of recklessness
I tried to wash her tear from my pinafore 
But I couldn’t bring myself to turn the tap
This was a significant stain

I am Majenka, Goddess helper 
of this blustery world
Not harnessing a skinny ankle 
was the right thing to do

- Jean Bohuslav 2019

Jean attends a creative writing group in Torquay Vic.  She has found growth in not only in her writing but also in other areas of life from being a part of the group.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

New Poetry by Doug Holder

A Veteran's Back, Carson Beach, South Boston

There was nothing smooth about it.
Grizzled in a sea of sleek.
Brown sun spots--
burst across
his wizened map.
A teamster tattoo
his union label
on his right shoulder--
no New Age serpent
snaking around
a green fantasy

A depression
in his skin
where he took a shiv
in some red light, 
near Andrew Station.  

The muscles still asserting themselves
below the slack skin
rolling under his flesh
his back unashamed
of its sin.

- Doug Holder 2019

Doug's work has appeared in Constellations, Sahara, sPoKe, Toronto Quarterly, Sub-Terrain and many others. Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press in Somerville, Massachusetts. The " Doug Holder Papers Collection" is being processed at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, NY.