JOHN GRAY – I KNEW A WOMAN

I knew a woman in a wheelchair,

lived in a clapboard house,

with a lawn she somehow trimmed.

and a garden she kept well-tended.

And another had breast cancer.

She wrote letters to all her friends

in the brief nauseous pauses

between radiation treatments.

Another had five kids

and a husband who walked out

but somehow put food on their table

and a roof over their head.

Another got a degree in some branch of science

and the consensus of her male friends was that

“I didn’t know women went in for

 that sort of thing.”

Of course, there was the one

who was forever trying to hide

the bruises on her face with makeup,

stayed with her abuser.

And another who hated herself so much

she sat around the house all day,

getting fatter and fatter

so she could hate herself the more.

From the start, there was need for women.

And a physiology to go with it.

Life was incomplete. There was a vacuum.

And then all kinds started filling it.

Read more "JOHN GRAY – I KNEW A WOMAN"

FALLING ASLEEP – DS Maolalai

Falling asleep.

love;

lethal as any fire. burning

quietly to smolder

and the flashpoint

which happens when, feeling safe,

you open something up. then

explosions. kids

screaming somewhere. people outside. property

gone. handfuls of ash

clasped afterwards

in a display of some sort

of significance. collapsed up lungs

from falling asleep

too relaxed with a cigarette.

or lighting a candle, even. they’re deadly,

too. electric wires – a slight sign

of comfort.

a spark

which lights fires

and kills her

and kills you

and kills you

and goes out.

Read more "FALLING ASLEEP – DS Maolalai"

KEEPING MY APPOINTMENT… – Deborah L. Wymbs

KEEPING MY APPOINTMENT WITH MY ATTORNEY ON A GORGEOUS DAY

School is in session,
Time for another life lesson on the living of life:
Small trees bend from the pressures of an invisible partner,
The wind takes the lead during an unrehearsed tango—
A day of bouquet beauty.

Two young men skate board warriors with tattoo armor
Scroll down the steep asphalt city hill.

I look to the pastel blue sky.
Am I looking at it or looking through it?
Its beauty is my bookmark.

I chose my attorney by the appearance of his desk,
The picture story relief, an atlas of events carved into wood,
Tree rings of life beneath layers of dark stained beginnings.

When will this fiasco end? I ask
And the answer he knew I wanted to hear,
Soon, with hopefully attached loosely.

Read more "KEEPING MY APPOINTMENT… – Deborah L. Wymbs"

3 POEMS – SIMON PERCHIK

*

Even the night was made from wood

has sheets, a gown, the kind

brides wear only once

though you pace in front the bed

the way mathematicians mull over chalk

scraping it against something black

that could be pulling the room apart

with the faint sound from dust

coming by for what’s left

and the corners –vaguely you can hear

her lips breathing into yours

setting on fire the stars

that would sweeten your mouth

with the never ending hum

emptied from wells and springs

for smoke, no longer knows how to talk

how to glow when side by side

as planks and weeds and this pillow.

*

And though this door is locked

it leans into the evenings

that hollowed out the place

for its marble and grass

where you still hide, afraid

make the dead go first

–they already know what to do

when the corners are no longer enough

and with your finger become

the sudden breeze filled with moonlight

and distances opening the sea

holding it over the fires –pilings

are useless here, these great walls

cringe from the cries rain gives off

where a morning used to be

and you are following it alone

as if there was a light in the window

waiting for you to come by.

*

This fish is still gathering the smoke

left over from when the sea went back

to face some crackling beach grass

–side by side you too are warmed

by salt and standing naked

you can see a woman is striking a match

though when you are dead

the glaze on this dinner plate

will afterward heat your eyes

–they will never close, this fish

is looking for tears to fit in its mouth

tell you eat! bite into its eyes

though nothing will cool or be at home

where you keep the ashes warm

by collecting the bones and sand.

Read more "3 POEMS – SIMON PERCHIK"

LORIE – MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON


Lorie

Lorie, you want to see me clearly

through this joy of my naked body

avoiding the sweat of my emotions,

just breathing on my neck

rubbing this baseline of my groin-

will not find us here again.

Go away, leave me thinking

louder than your breath-

body moves quietly

in a lazy sway of indifference.

8

Read more "LORIE – MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON"

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

Read more "JOHNNY HUERTA – 2 POEMS"

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

Read more "BEN NARDOLILLI – 7/23/16"