Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Raw Muggers Haiku - Shane Jesse Christmass

We Raw Muggers Haiku

lying bathe bridge of his
nose one of the other

rapidly into an insole
fall to his

to lie swivels around
in trouble
this comet is useless

the taps off and then
murder these
what do you want?

the water turned trusses are
casing and us coming from
the bathing cautioned

textual some unceasing
plucks off the night
it’s him to hog into what is right

l walked the corridor well
doesn’t mountain bike in the amulet
crackled himself

I’m a bit nervous
she ; the milky cup
of tea

Shane Jesse Christmas

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Modem - Stuart Barnes


London by night all alone,
London by night on my own

3 a.m., 3 a.m., 3 a.m. Eternal like
those Justified Ancients of Mu Mu
I snap awake, buzzy from my
purple shrinking pills, to stagger
to the loo to take a piss. Passing
the computer it startles
me still, this little black sarcophagus
with the boisterous proboscis and
kaleidoscopic lights, electric blue.
May it mourn for a tampered field
of corn? Is there something more?

Stuart Barnes

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jeremy Balius - Three Haiku

falling leaves spin
teaching dervishes
to whirl


mother smiles
then passes on to glory –
the sea ebbs


a crow returns to murder
not enough
frequent flyer points

Jeremy Balius

Monday, June 28, 2010

Phillip A Ellis - 15 August 2009

15 August 2009

Over lands, seas, and oceans, the stars rise
steadily, into night and the dark sky
unmarked by any moon. When the stars fade
from the heights, scratched as it is by streets' lamps,
houses, other buildings, then no eye knows
what was once seen, in the open night sky:
seasons, directions, legends, and fair lamps
hung from the heavens, and from a dark vault.

But the night is still young, younger than time,
younger than the lands over which it's hung
like a veil of unseeing, emptiness
kept at bay as by gossamer star-veils,
clusters of flaming gas, fields of burning,
fragile wards facing entropy, heat death.

Phillip A Ellis

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jeff Klooger - A Brief History Of Getting Smashed

A Brief History Of Getting Smashed

Emotion is chemistry, and alcohol
is love ― here especially, or anywhere tropical.
Tonight we will get drunk like scientists, our heads bursting
with untested theories, facts
whizzing past our eyes
and into the sunset.

We don’t care. Without fear or forethought,
we gaze into the magic heart of things. Reality
is what we see when we close our eyes,
sure as physics, sucking us in
like gravity. If you lie flat out
and stare straight up at the stars, you will get dizzy,
but all that whirling still makes sense somehow.

God is a dry martini, shaken not stirred.
Proof is a toothpick
piercing the olive of the world.
Einstein understood: the faster you go
the heavier you get.
Intoxication is a formula
that escapes to infinity.

Jeff Klooger

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Michael Lee Johnson - Charley Plays a Tune

Charley Plays a Tune

Crippled, in Chicago,
with arthritis
and Alzheimer's,
in a dark rented room,
Charley plays
melancholic melodies
on a dust-filled
harmonica he
found abandoned
on a playground of sand
years ago by a handful of children
playing on monkey bars.
He now goes to the bathroom on occasion,
relieving himself takes forever; he feeds the cat when
he doesn't forget where the food is stashed.
He hears bedlam when he buys fish at the local market
and the skeleton bones of the fish show through.
He lies on his back, riddled with pain,
pine cones fill his pillows and mattress;
praying to Jesus and rubbing his rosary beads
Charley blows tunes out his
celestial instrument
notes float through the open window
touch the nose of summer clouds.
Charley overtakes himself with grief
and is ecstatically alone.
Charley plays a solo tune.

Michael Lee Johnson

Monday, May 24, 2010

Porgy Comes Home - Image & Text by Wayne Wolfson

She thirsted to hear my voice again, even the small things; asking her to shut the light, the click of the last domino being put back in the box, my cigar as she walked by the ashtray left on the counter.

When she was beautiful there was something almost commonplace about it. I much preferred her looking tired or melancholy. It has a more honest feel to it as it also encompasses a sort of collaborative origin involving us both.

Even when we had first met, her in her best dress, she interested me with the lies that she told and not her beauty.

That first night we drank all the free booze which the party had to offer, then walked all the way to Les Halles for onion soup. We talked the entire time, not out of any awkward pressure but just for the enjoyment of it.

Our two voices, her French more of a sing song quality than my thick tongued grunts, would sometimes come back to us via an empty alley echo. This late night duet was not without its appeal.

It had kept me more alert than I had expected. The soup would now be more than mere ritual, I was becoming hungry.

She talked of appetite in an honest way with all its accompanying unpleasantness, which appealed to me.

Desire, those who always know how to get what they want, the abstract idea of the goal, radiate a sort of light like the gleam of a star, brilliant and cold. Marissa though, her glow was more that of a funeral pyre.

It has been two years and I am still waiting to see how it will end. We both have our little power plays and bite backs but neither of us seem inclined to rush towards an end game.

I have become superstitious about her tears. After conjuring them a certain amount of times they will haunt me long after she is gone. The tiger crouched in the pile of dirty laundry under the bed, I must be careful.

I had not asked her to pick me up and she had not offered. It would acknowledge our shared history another link in a chain which grew a little longer every day.

The airport at this hour was mostly empty, the few bodies one saw where all at a distance, frozen, more random components of a tableau than actual people.

There were no taxis to be found so I caught the train.

It was raining, I buttoned my jacket even though I knew the train would be too warm and I would have to undo it again.

The last train of the night. Using the blurred lights which slide by, the drizzle paints an impressionistic image of the city upon the window which I now lean my forehead against for its coolness.

I climb the stairs to the street. I stop at Pepe’s to call and let her know I made it all right and a quick Calvados to ease the pain in my side.

Technically, they were not open but two old men sat by the window smoking cigars and playing cards. One tourist who had initially been attracted by the lone light on a dark street in a tee shirt sat alone and dazed in front of a row of empty glasses. He was too drunk to get back to his hotel but did not know where else to go.

Not bothering anybody, Marc had stopped serving him but let him stay.

We shook hands, he let me use the phone as he poured. I held up two fingers. She wanted me to come over. No. She wanted to come over. No. I would see her tomorrow which was now today after I cleaned up and rested a bit.

She tried not to come across as disappointed. I noticed her effort but pretended not to.

The drinks made me temporarily feel good enough to make it home. I paid and left.

Without turning on the light, I put my bag down next to the door and started getting undressed.
I go to wash my face. I enjoy the quiet, the familiar scent of my place. I leave the lights out, I feel a headache coming on, I probably had not had enough water before flying.

The rough hewn bar of soap left in the basin of the sink takes on the identity of a pearl in a shell as now viewed in the pale light spilling in through the windows. I should get some sleep. I look in the mirror, in this light though my features are indistinct, I could be anybody.

I now reach for the soap, the underside is still slick like a secret, someone had been here. I hold it in my hand, my fingers playing over the cracks in its top.

I thought of how I had gotten the drop on the one they had called Zeppo.

He could have stood still and I would have just taken him in. But instead he had made a reach, chancing that he would be faster.

I knelt down and clearing his lips of blood with my own handkerchief held his head up in case he wanted to say something.

The killer had been warm like the hum of an old tube radio. He had gambled it all and lost. Men like us never seem to go in for half measures.

Wayne Wolfson

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Landscapes - Stuart Barnes


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes
Marcel Proust

(I) Collingwood

the Magi are imaginable

a poultice for sizzling footpaths

jasmine’s in clusters like jellyfish

or brains over ramshackle wooden

fences – missing pales, missing teeth

sepia light smogs broken warehouse

rooftops, cracks the jade-green eyes

of stray white cats you stalk,

face ringing like a church bell

(II) Clifton Hill

alarming palaver! blue Mary,

grey child OshKosh B’Gosh

buggies, brown and black – they pass,

slow as hearses birds-of-paradise

fly fabulous crests’ molten colours

at the air; I stare and stare the light

of the day is starry, and comes

from the eye of the cardinal mountains

you come out of nowhere

(III) Abbotsford

a shock-haired man rubs lamps

of Technicolor glass graceful

as giraffes, nuns unfurl dark habits

hands rub like papery leaves

in November there’s mayhem

at the manger last winter I witnessed

a froth of hops, like sheep or a crime,

across the water you in white

across the water fire in the sky

Stuart Barnes

Friday, April 2, 2010

In The Middle Of The Night - Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

In The Middle Of The Night

She played video games

on a dirty brown couch

that reeked of Doritos

and sweaty ass.

She pulled the heads

off her Barbie dolls

in a dark apartment

above Charley’s Bar

where her mother

turned tricks for crack.

She joined the Army

to pay for college–

put on boots

and slammed

to Combat Rock.

Now she sits on a

leather sectional,

sells adult toys

in Manhattan,

has 798 friends

on Facebook,

updates her page

with sexy videos

and hangs up

when her mother

calls bawling

in the middle

of the night.

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unraveled - Benjamin Dodds


Never referred to explicitly
they feature alongside
anonymous lab technicians

safety-goggled henchmen
wielding delicate glass pipettes
and endless arrays of plastic phials

in footage furnishing 30-second
news pieces about genetics
and ‘ethically-troubling’ breakthroughs.

Throw in the phrase playing God
and you’re there.
Electrophoresis gels lay out

ladders of striated DNA
that fade into chemical whispers
running down the page.

To unfurl the coils
you’ll need a solution of Acrylamide
our dreaded antagonist

and known neurotoxin.
Acrylamide even looks dangerous
with its cross-braced capital A

dangerous enough to knock me
off my feet after a long and hot bath
on a departmental flex day

to find myself naked and dry
on the bedroom floor
involuntarily trawling

the bridge of my nose
up and down beige carpet
in a wide red arc.

I’ve since read
that Acrylamide accrues
in the system.

That ground-in stain
with its rusting brightness
smiles up at me still.

Benjamin Dodds

Friday, March 12, 2010

in the things we hold and the things we cannot - Mark William Jackson

in the things we hold and the things we cannot

the bottle paints it perfumed image?

_________________days of empty despair

while the light that guided

smiles as I talk to her

___________________about poetry

Mark William Jackson

Friday, March 5, 2010

Three Poems - Majena Mafe


_____you’d become still
_____before the jump to ____here

_____O laugh out loud...


so sue me

‘Doesn’t she look goo-ood
her full-blown-self…’
Ridge Forester bloats.



the placing of flowers inside
presupposes a confidence in water
and the dubious assumption that kept
water will beauty provide

Majena Mafe

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Three Haiku - Pearl Nelson

the pond at the end
of the street, its edges frozen
and without toad song


after a hard rain
the old man’s turnips
bare sensuous purple shoulders


that old drunken moon–
smoking cigarettes and singing
songs in a toad’s voice

Pearl Nelson

Monday, February 22, 2010

Looking Back - Ron Wilkins

Looking Back

A thump with the heel
of the hand forcing entry,
then the metal ripper jacking up
the lid in levered steps until
with a twist,
the jagged disk snapped loose.
It was hard preparing a meal
of sausages and vegetables
in those student days,
filling up on a chunk of bread and jam,
a mug of tea.

Now, the opener is half the size.
It grips the rim and by successive turns
of a wheel at the side,
the can rotates et voila
a perfect reflecting circle drops,
neat as a freshly minted coin.
How much easier life has become,
though as I gaze at the pale beans
glowing in their pink sauce,
I wonder could I be viewing the present
through rosy-tinted spectacles?

Ron Wilkins

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beloved - Shonni Hodge


The lies have wrought their own piece:
Intricate curls, gilt and glamour
to showcase the shame.

Glass beads set in the mask
reflect years.
Contorted husk
of animation,
carved dream of humanity:

Her perfection is without equal.

How I despised her, and her magpie eyes.
Unyielding presence, a thing possessed – she watches
And knows.

Empty shell! Your partner quit your side forever.
How he must have loathed your
porcelain, so cold beneath
mere flesh.

But now my heart is merely sickened
to watch you sit and stare.
Skin once flush and heated is now
Chilling, startling to touch.
Eyes whose life once boiled, flooding my heart,
reflect the world without wonder.

Shonni Hodge