POETRY: Christos Kalli – The beauty of the screams that lead to birth

The beauty of the screams that lead to birth


Blue eyes handshake unless they are

beige walls. Rooms inside us grow

arms and legs. They nosedive into

each other. They decorate themselves

with cracked mirrors, graveyard wall-

papers, ground chandeliers, disco balls,

cacti, of course, and miniature arm-

chairs. Soon you will mistake them

with crooked smile paintings. In them

you will see the sun. He looks nothing

like them. It is close to loneliness,

but not too close, but close enough

to open like a cave mouth and be teethed,

obviously, with wisdom, among other

things. I can hear the screams from here.

I see the shiny head. They collide clearly

like two planets. The orbit was not fire

enough. I see a belly button. It’s a boy.

Read more "POETRY: Christos Kalli – The beauty of the screams that lead to birth"

POETRY: Danny P. Barbare – The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway


Looking at the jewelry, bracelets, earrings,

and necklaces, books

about leaves. Clothes, wooden

canes, wind chimes

like dulcimers, angels, colorful rocks,

pictures of smoky blue lands and

paintings, calendars and postcards,

and maps, I look out the window at The

Blue Ridge like an ocean of mountains.

And buy a book to learn autumn’s

colors, as we leave Pisgah Inn not to

return before April, when winter comes

and the gates to the parkway are closed

for those cold snowy days. The sunset

glows in the trees and the tunnels howl

as Biltmore sits nestled in the valley

of Asheville and the leaves

swirl behind the car

as The French Broad flows in cool shade.

Read more "POETRY: Danny P. Barbare – The Blue Ridge Parkway"


Penne Vodka

An American invention, you won’t find it
in Italy, as my spouse and I read
in a cookbook my mother made
when I was a child.
Before the salt is in the water,
before the water comes to a boil,
before the penne is put in, you must
make the sauce, first and foremost,
according to the recipe.

Another pointer:
“A cup of vodka and a can of tomato puree
will go a long way;” almost as far
as my mother and her family did
from Orsogna to Astoria, almost as far
as my mother-in-law and her family did
from Dublin to Los Alamos.

My spouse opens the can of puree.
I pour the vodka
into the bowl. We add most
of the remaining ingredients,
including an extra pinch of pepper, to taste,
as the recipe states.

My spouse’s phone rings.
I check mine. Low Battery.
I attach it to its cord and plug it into the wall:
a reverse of my birth,
when the obstetrician disconnected me
from my mother: the beginning of our estrangement,
which peaked by the time I began to shave.

It was only when she got sick
that I began to understand
that no amount of passion or anger
can uproot cancer
as if it were a tree flower, weed
or a family.

This and other recipes are the words
of our reconciliation. I have had to settle
for reading; for whisking my sadness away
in a bowl, and bringing it to a rolling boil
once it is in a pot. I have to wait
to add anything else to the sauce.

My mother in law is on speakerphone:
she and my spouse share a maniacal laugh.
I smile, and look at the pan of olive oil;
their laughter sizzles in slices of garlic, which releases
their pungent perfumes,
the scent of my mother’s most joyous self
ascending in my nose.

Visit Joey’s blog


POETRY: Gonzalinho da Costa – Three Miles South of the Canadian Border

Three Miles South of the Canadian Border

When Ragnarok comes, it will be bleakest winter. Snowstorms will pour forth incessantly, clotty ash engulfing the air. The sun will evaporate, the moon and stars join permanently with darkness. Rivers, lakes, oceans—vast expanses—will densify into sludge. Hills, trees, the entire land will disappear beneath rising snowy heaps. Wild animals, bony, starving, will wander about the whiteness. Domestic animals will perish from bitterest cold and neglect. Shuddering, everyone still alive will wrap themselves inside fireless caves.

When the world ends, it will all take place at the epicenter of all wretchedness, nexus of all misery, and seat of all gloom…three miles south of the Canadian border.

Check out the poetry blog of Gonzalinho da Costa

Read more "POETRY: Gonzalinho da Costa – Three Miles South of the Canadian Border"

POETRY: RACEEN BUCKNER – Self-deprecating


My mirror responds to my reflection
-a mixed signal response-
Disgust scowls at me…
At my increasing body weight
Rolls her eyes and gags
Stares at the mountain of my nose
Fear holds me tight- my only savior-
He holds me back from doing what I want most
He places tears in my eyes so I can’t see
Disgust laughs in the background.
When I wash my face- hoping for beauty-
“You can’t wash away fat and ugly!”
Fear scowls and puts more tears in my eyes.
I live by fear and disgust…
That’s the most self-deprecating thing about me.

Read more "POETRY: RACEEN BUCKNER – Self-deprecating"