2 POEMS – Jeffrey Zable

NEVER AGAIN May the burning embers twirl around your mustachio and become a river itching itself into a fit of melancholia, while the pumpkins with metal teeth snap at the Christ-like pomegranates. And when the eternal crying begins, may the faces without eyes suddenly profess, “My God, I have no idea how you found me!” […]

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A Semi-Circle of Vets, Waiting for the Counselor (Eupnea) -Ron Riekki

We breathe.

You can’t hear it.

It’s called eupnea.

The silence of breath.

The sound of lungs

at peace.

Except for Kyle.

His pleural apical scarring.

He spells it plural,

as if the scarring

couldn’t be singular,

but owns the lungs.

And he spells it as scaring

sometimes too,

filling out

the V.A. paperwork

like that,

as if there’s fear

in this eternal

sick call

and, oh, there is.

I know.

I do it too.

I know it too.

And I work

to control

my sounds,

the smoke

decades ago

that came in,

formed a semi-

circle

in my chest

and thoughts,

stayed

forever.

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JOHNNY HUERTA – 2 POEMS

THE RED HOT COILS

the fan sitting on

a window sill

was gently blowing

the curtains on to

a radiator heater

the phone rang and rang

water boiling in a kettle

steam whistling out as if

it were a toy locomotive

circling the red hot

coils on a portable

electric range

plugged in to a

bloodstained wall

water overflowing in

the old clawfoot bathtub

Randy Travis blaring on

a portable FM radio

from an empty living room

~

DRYING OUT

Drying out

An army cot

Above the Taos

Fire station

Is not an ideal spot

But the cool breeze

Coming through

The window

Sure feels

Nice

~

Purchase Jon Huerta’s debut collection of poetry and moonshine recipes HERE

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BEN NARDOLILLI – 7/23/16

7/23/16

When the sun sets, I wish
I could take a decent picture of it,
the whole view from Harlem
while looking down at Midtown

It’s not about the steel and glass
glittering in front of me,
there’s plenty of that
building a crown on the horizon

It’s about the brick and stone
piled up into nearby apartments,
when the sun sets on them
they look like cliffs by the ocean

~
find Ben online

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JOHN GREY – 2 POEMS

THE EDGE

So there I was

standing at the edge of the cliff with Angela

and we made this vow,

like a wedding vow almost

but with the land dropping away at our feet

and bitter sea-wind blowing in our faces.

It was a pledge to be faithful until death.

I’d known Angela since childhood.

She read books, even difficult ones.

She loved to listen to music.

Her taste extended to jazz.

And she was drawn to the sea.

Not so much to be splashing around in it.

But to observe from a distance,

to feel its power not its playfulness.

The vow was more her idea than mine.

In fact, I was a little uneasy

standing in such a precarious position

on a chilly Fall day.

But she had grown into such a cute teenage girl.

And I loved the touch of her fingers.

And, oh yes, her breath on the back of my neck.

But, after we had repeated our affection so solemnly,

I could detect a certain sadness in her eyes.

It was as if she was saying, “Now what.”

As if dreams end by coming true.

Or a cliff, like the one we peered down from,

offered no opportunities to go any higher.

Or the sea was so vast, so deep,

it could only be indifferent

to two fifteen-year-olds trying to act older.

It was a week later, and in a less perilous setting,

when, with a tear or two, she released me from that vow.

I would have done the same but she beat me to it.

We were not a couple bonded for all time.

But we’d been exposed to the perils of such bondage…

not only bone-shaking and blustery

but at the very edge.

~

A HOUSEFLY REVISITS SYLVIA PLATH

I press against

the curve of glass,

peer out at my world

of linoleum, formica

and stainless steel.

Will I never sip

on the sugar crumbs again

or trot across the good china.

nibbling food-scraps

as I go?

I’m in this bell-jar –

yes, that’s right,

just like Sylvia Plath,

beating my wings,

buzzing loudly.

Well we know

what good that did

for her.

Soon enough,

the oxygen in here

will dissipate

until there’s not enough

to support the likes of me.

Sylvia, I know how

it was for you.

Someone trapped

you in their grip,

popped you into a container,

screwed the lid tight,

left you to choke

on your own imprisonment.

Just like you,

I’ll fall to the bottom eventually.

And yet I’m curious to see

what you have written there.

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