POETRY: Mark J. Mitchell – Stranger Dance

Stranger Dance

He watched her back a long time. Her soft sway
kept slow time steadily, his metronome.
Her elastic music measured his day.

Not a dancing creature, his mother would say,
he herked and jerked stiff as a moon
clock. Her soft back was long, a controlled sway

was her weapon of choice. She liked to play
roles: child, temptress, wayward wife whose next home
was elastic as music. All working days

bored her. His hot gaze was modeling clay
her cool hands enjoyed. He lived on his own.
She watched him back. The swift time held soft sway

over each of his steps. Her eyes delayed
his dreaming self and her diva mask loaned
him elastic music. He measured days—

rationing them. He was trying to save
her like coins but knew she’d remain unknown.
He watched her, lost in time, her soft sway
stretched musically through his measured days.

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POETRY: David Eves – To Hachijō Island in October

To Hachijō Island in October

We look out at you

split into your full

figure-of-eight shape

and we think

it’ll pour here or it won’t

there’ll be food for us

or we’ll rumble up at

the full-bellied clouds

we’ll find a bed

or we’ll sit up

counting the stars

that float

like candles

upon the Philippine sea


Hachijōjima I

think I’ll halve you

at your waist

and fold your

two peaks into

a ball as warped

and cragged as

the earth itself

then I’ll roll you

back to Tokyo

(pouting, probably

heavy with

smoked grey)

and leave

you soaking

in the harbour, dyeing

the gunmetal water

the dark green

of your many


Read more "POETRY: David Eves – To Hachijō Island in October"

POETRY: Abigale Louise LeCavalier – BIONIC JUST THE SAME

Bionic Just The Same

I pulled a nail
out of my head
the other day,
more out of anger
than in a panic,
it’s a real bitch
being bionic.

I’ve taken a knife
to my womanhood
in front of the world,
I know pain
and I have been dead

I know what it’s like being dead.

That scares an audience;
that and being a man-made

Mulling around in my afterbirth
looking out of my one good eye,
feeling my way through life tragic,
picking metal shavings from my own vomit.

So melodramatic!
So VERY punk rock!

Eh, the ruminations
of a tired poet,
reality of dinner for one
and horrible coping skills;
it’s made me the woman I am today.

Bionic just the same.

Read more "POETRY: Abigale Louise LeCavalier – BIONIC JUST THE SAME"

POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS


The baby is crying.
We are all alone.
She is Fantomas
And we don’t
Know what to do.

Last time I was here
They didn’t give me
A paper cap.
But the guard offers us three
And I put them on us.
I feel Napoleonic.

Fantomas is inconsolable.
She wants to face out.
So I carry her
Past the guns and armor.
The Grand Palais was closed again
And so we are here amongst the arms.

You are interested
In how a world war starts.
I never knew you to care before.
History is hard, you say to her.
But what you don’t say is
Because the future is not just ours.

How can cities be taken?
You search with a mother’s concern,
Work to build a cursory understanding of
What to fear in the coming years?
You look for signs as I pace
Rocking the baby to sleep.

Read more "POETRY: Philip Rafferty – FANTOMAS"


Visiting the Pierce’s

I greet you with a hearty handshake
And a half-hug, your wife
With a decorous peck on the cheek.

We go inside. We’ve been friends
So long I make my own drink.

I and my martini wander the comfortable family room
While you and your wife clash
Dishes and tart words in the kitchen.
There are framed photos from early days to present.
I always start at the same place
The one of your wife on Martha’s Vineyard
With her left hand holding her blond hair out of her face
Laughing, while the cold wind
Turns her nipple to a bright raisin beneath her thin top.

I see that picture in my mind
Almost every night when I go to sleep.

I turn my attention to another picture:
Your first-born, then a toddler in a sailor cap
Now a handsome young man.

Try to turn my attention…
It doesn’t work. Never does.

Once, over wine, on an anniversary date
My wife, who was in a very hostile mood,
Said I married the wrong girl,
Should have married yours.

In a stroke of genius, I said nothing,
But I’ve wondered ever since
What women know, and how they know it.

I drain my martini in a brain-twisting gulp.
And seriously consider another.


Check out Andrew’s second poetry collection The Divining Rod.


POETRY: Anne Britting Oleson – November


All day the wind bemoans
its solitary state, the birds
of summer long since fled,
leaves turned from green to red to brown
then stripped away from skeletal trees
to race dryly along the roadside.
In the cold house she wanders
from room to echoing room,
wrapping her arms around herself,
speaking once or twice to hear
a human voice. When she settles
among the shadows with a book,
her eyes stray—to the stopped clock,
the dusty photos. Outside, the sound changes,
and she turns: suddenly, a hailstorm.
The ice clacks against the glass.
The sun shines on, oblivious.

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The Sodomite is Dead!

Philadelphia’s Market
street continues underwater
and onto Delaware’s eastern bank
where empty structures are no longer
stores in designated places
along the four lane formerly city
street [this is no longer a city]
with no fear of getting hit [it’s already hit]
on its own accord the blood moon once full
bled out and yet its gray visage remains
if only because of parting clouds
and in that instance poetry is seen
by some the few walking this still street.

What liquid courses
through our veins tonight
Walt Whitman?
As ghosts stride
by your beloved Delaware
they try to catch a glimpse
of your penultimate abode
only 200 yards south of Market
and yet the view is obstructed
by the Panopticon prison
rising as one of countless
towers, this one jutting out in the cluttered
but abandoned Camden air.

What thoughts course
through ghosts’ minds
of you tonight Walt Whitman?
Someone built a fair, tents, rides, and all
on the former foundation of another prison
directly north of the big blue bridge.
Imagine the revelry the prison was only torn
down a few years ago and now it’s a party.
America’s screaming drunk children
revitalize the cities kick out the residents,
redistribute the poor not the wealth.
Prisoners shipped beyond
the suburbs in privacy
not so subtle slavery what do you think
Walt Whitman?
How long is the party going for?
Will we overstay our welcome?

There are no peaches left in Camden’s Market
no penumbras for you to fondle, what fun is there
in eyeing the now jobless homeless grocery boy?

“The sodomite is dead!” they said and still
the phantom mob stands
on what used to be known as Mickle Street
when they heard news of your death
the city rejoiced and since then America
has changed the name of your street
to MLK Boulevard in mock honor
and all the incarcerated are thinking of you
Walt Whitman even if they don’t know
it, our sinful American saint.

Rise from your gray tomb
renounce manifest destiny
renounce racism
renounce the empire
so that we may begin again
bathed in fresh morning dew.


Find Sean online. 


POETRY: SEX IN THE SKY – Nancy Iannucci

Sex in the Sky
I was on my way to Emily Dickinson’s house,
when these two clouds spit on my skin.
The storm left them behind, so
they followed me up I91 North
en route to Amherst.

I soon forgot about the clouds
when I saw you-
you straddled above me
like sex in the sky.
The clouds grew bitter.
They wanted you,
wanted to be part of you,

part of something magnificent
again, & so they ate you out,
stuffed each layer of your promises
into their mouths & took the credit.

I wanted to catch
you –have one more look,
so I tapped on my breaks
to decelerate the race
between us. It was too late.
I watched as they
devour you fast & wild:

They peeled off your red cloak
consuming the pain of wars dripping
in your juice mid-chew like komodo dragons.

They pulled at your orange slip
then masticated with their mouths open
overriding years of corporate greed
like a fire-eater at the Greatest Show on Earth.

Your yellow skin made them howl
in wolf packs as they struggled with
the “peel here” corner; they rubbed
& rubbed until you separated;
the wait was worth it.
You melted in their mouths
like lemon drops soothing
the parasites of addiction.

Your green eyes cleansed
their palate like ginger as
they turned over the Earth,
foiling centuries of forest fires.

They drank your blue sweat
like boilermakers cleansing
the seas of oil spills in one pint-glass.

Integrity was almost restored
as they sucked the sweetness
from your indigo lips.
You made their tongues turn purple
before they went for your Violet.

Poor Violet!

She was your final layer of hope,
and just like that you were gone –
consumed! The sky wiped their
mouths clean of your candy
as I made a right turn
onto Main Street.
Read more "POETRY: SEX IN THE SKY – Nancy Iannucci"


Still Howling

For Galaxy Dancer


I see the best souls of my sex thrive despite the madness,
defiant Aphrodites rising above the sea,

naked in their wakefulness, determined to love in the charge of night
and the terror of the day,

deciding once again to abandon the search for the soulful man
after yet another set of promisepromisepromise
tips the dominos of stated love
into a dynamic display of arcane art,
cascading into a fluid falling
of each word promisepromisepromise caress kiss
from the men

who, for three weeks, call and text and relentlessly
text and change
their plans so they can drive across town
and fly across continents to see us
only to soon mysteriously forever disappear,

who devote their lives to a higher calling, meditate, pray then
lash out angrily when we ask a question,

who, while holding our hands and kissing our cheeks verbally twist
our arms behind our backs and nip our cheeks,
holding mirrors to our faces and ranting at us
that we are their relentless demanding debilitated mothers,

who have environmentally-safe companies, off-grid homes,
and work against proliferation to keep the world a place,
sitting late into the night with grieving families,

but slam the gavel to the bench in the pronouncement
that we are selfish and demanding when we ask to be held
after a day we spent helplessly watching human sacrifices by
the gods of business and have realized finally that each
sacrifice was us,

who vow they will be there for us but won’t return calls or texts
even when our closest family member has just died,

who have children they want us to raise, children whose mothers
escaped through the vacuum cleaner,

who, with blood perpetually drying under their fingernails,
doggedly beget war,
marching our courageous and caring
sons and daughters
into the family business and even into its copiers and

who bring prison with them in their assertion they were protecting
their families from invaders, dealers, and the IRS,

who visit the Dali Lama, chant on mountain tops,
embrace the dawn of the equinox on the apex of a Sedona
rock in the midst of a vortex
by running up their wives’ credit cards then vanish
into the evening mist,

who profess their love but refuse to hide their dating profiles on
matchdotcom, okcupid, greensingles, matchmaker, loveforever
dot org, dot net, dot com, dot com,
dot we do not communicate,

claiming these are mere social networking sites,
they just want to meet new friends,
and say we are selfish and have no right to expect their
profiles to be hidden, and, by asking, have now ruined the
perfect night of sex and spooning we just shared,

who meet us for coffee and after only this once, because we don’t
want to meet them again, call and text and email inexorably,
harassing us with venom and nasty,

who hit us in the adolescent classroom, calling us crater face
because we mature with pimples,

who bully with questions and accusations every time we step outside
our doors,

who tell us what to do with our homes, yards, jobs, lives, children and
claim they are just being neighborly,

who boldly ask us to come to Boulder, and we drive to Boulder, and
after we arrive in Boulder, they no longer want to see us,
and we sleep alone in a sad motel in Boulder,

who with sweet breath of desire tell us they will count the times we
make love, then
we discover they can only count to one,

who patiently date us laugh touch kiss and smile for a few months, no
sex yet, so we can be sure, then after finally making love say
this was a mistake,

who on our honeymoons say this was a mistake, no not the trip
to the tropics or the tower or the falls, we are the mistake,

who, with fatherly, brotherly, uncle-y advice, tell us we are naive and
stupid to believe what men say,
and we wonder what kind of world this is
that gives the message to males that it is smart to lie
but gives the message to females that we are stupid to
believe men, stupid, stupid, stupid, I believed him
how about the message to everyone that your word
should be true and on your honor so you can be honorable?

who see us as prey when we reach age 10, taking our childhood,
never do we get to be a non-sexualized person,

who, on occasion, stop leaking faucets, kill people-devouring spiders
but freely distribute advice, solutions, STDs . . . and babies —

ah, Galaxy, we are not safe, but we are resilient, in ways that our
mothers from forever
past must have also known,

as they forgave while being burned at the stake, their flesh
prayed before putting their heads to the block, bracing
before being slammed and ripped with the furious steel rod
which made the ripping and hand-muffled
screaming beyond the limits of what should be known,
escaping into a mental abyss before thuds and blows to the
blows to the stomachs, blows to the breasts,

and too much of that still happens to our sisters.


And what of our daughters?

The Machinery of Balls, soccer balls, baseballs, volleyballs,
golf balls, tennis balls, rugby balls, racket balls,
balls balls balls and of hockey pucks, of fucks
and of cock
built of titanium and diamond, built in the basement labs
of Los Alamos and sometimes in homes,
is nearly invisible — it takes eyes beyond the spiritual to see
it; it is easier to feel it,

and now that our daughters are allowed to run on courts and fields,
they sense this Machinery with a mixture of caution and
and even guardianship,
and we, the mothers, sisters and aunts,

want to warn, inform and protect them and to protect men, too,
because men, too, are caught in this Machinery,

and we have sons and grandsons and brothers and fathers and
grandfathers and nephews and cousins and uncles and
friends whom we love,

and it occurs to me that we are all of this Machinery, I am of it, too;
it is the world of balls, for the world is a ball, too, in a
universe of balls,
some are hot, searing, rotating, some appear cold and static,
but a Machinery of Balls like
the pitching machine, and we must
be prepared, as our daughters are prepared, to swing to
survive the blows when the

Pitching Machine starts pitching softballs slowly, in the fragrance
of the morning air, dew still freshening the space around the
cage, we still slender in our short white shorts,
we are ready to learn the game,

Pitching Machine quickens as balls spin toward us, we batting at
them, deflecting some and dodging most, and the Machine’s
arm shoots, then shoots, then shoots
more rapidly, balls shoot at us ballsballsballs
ballsballsballs and what has happened to this fucking machine
it is broken and relentless in throwing balls at us
and these are hard balls, balls of iron, of steel, of stone, of
titanium and muscle, rarely of diamond,

thud thud thud thud thud to the head and we are locked in the cage
and bruised by balls but we are still standing

thud to the breast, thud thud thud to the heart, thud again to the

thud to the thighs, thud to the pubics, and now red
stains our white shorts and we start to howl,
and I am still howling as the

Pitching Machine pitches more hardballs, then it starts pitching
soccer balls, tennis balls, racquet balls, golf balls,
and everything spherical —
marbles, oranges, furiously at us comes balls of yarn,
snow balls, and a planet called Cockland, pitched at us,
and we take it, the world we know,
the whole planet of Cockland,
absorbing Cockland into our blood,

and my daughter says there are too many balls in my poem,
and she’s right, that is exactly the point,
there are too many balls in my poem.


Galaxy Dancer! I’m with you in Cockland
where you’ve stayed saner than I have

I’m with you in Cockland
where we love men yes we do
and we love their bodies geometric hard muscular
the safety of chests and the thrill of erections

I’m with you in Cockland
where I spend one more night in bed
with my computer and my cat and with Allen and with Walt
and his loving bedfellow God

I’m with you in Cockland
where I thank Allen and Allen knows
that I am grateful that he gave us this form to express
ourselves and my bra’s off to you Allen and this is an
homage for I am alive serious and I know you will cheer
for me from Heaven where this poem is published with
yours and many others because you gave us the form
that I at this moment christen
The Howl Form
and you gave us the right the freedom to howl so that we
too can howl

And don’t you reader or listener in the audience
have at least one thing to Howl about? So let’s sing our
praises of thanksgiving
to Allen by howling which I am doing by Still Howling

I’m with you in Cockland
where I thank Walt and Walt knows
don’t you Walt that I am thankful for the free long-legged
long-winded long-armed lines circling and hugging our
waists and embracing the expansive freedom to express
freely and expansively in repetitious verse

I’m with you in Cockland
where the system and its people and our
fathers husbands brothers uncles co-workers supervisors
bosses lovers and friends still have 525,600 ways
to tell us to shut up which is one way for each minute of
each day of each new year

I’m with you in Cockland
where men and women have given and continue to give
their lives in courtrooms and prisons and to death so that
we can be free
to write and speak and howl even if
the words are about Cockland

I’m with you in Cockland
where we love men love men love men
love them love men we do
but just because we love them so much doesn’t mean
we need to be quiet

I’m with you in Cockland
where once a famous male poet
after hearing me read poems now in my debut book of
poetry said You are writing a new kind of female poetry:
It is obvious you’ve been hurt by men, but you love them.
You are not writing angry poetry
and it is true: I am not angry
I am just saying

I’m with you in Cockland
where I am just saying where you are just saying
where he is just saying where she is just saying where we all
can just say though I once was quiet and still as a little
mouse while inside I was howling but because of
Allen and the City Lights that are the brightest I am now
howling and I am no longer still for I am loud howling and
with this I am Still Howling

I’m with you in Cockland
because for now this is the only place
to live our lives and life is amazing incredible beautiful
regenerative exciting shining and glorious
and even in Cockland this is my moment
this is your moment and no one can take the glory of that
unless we give it to them

I’m with you in Cockland
where I will die and I am not afraid to die
I just prefer to live

I’m with you in Cockland
my sister
where you persevere
come what may
without real health care with few opportunities
with no more than minimum wage yes still working harder
than our male counterparts for less
recognition and less pay
we survive on crumbs falling from the master’s table but we
are not lap dogs and we are making our way
to speak at the banquet and to remake
the table so that it is round

I’m with you in Cockland
where we hug and kiss and caress our men
in the beds they’ve made
the men who snore all night and won’t let us sleep

Men, keep your underpants on, we’re free! We’ve had enough of
Cockland. Try giving us something new and find within you a
nakedness and love that manifests in ways beyond the body,
way beyond the cock.

My soul-full infinite sister,

I’m with you in Cockland,
where I see you dancing above me through the galaxies,
weaving barefoot tracks in the cosmos
and in the celestial sand
as you continue your universal global coastal dance
to my skiff, moored on the shore
of the un-navigable ocean of hegemonous men.

Albuquerque, 2011 – 2016

Endnote to Still Howling

Forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive,
forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive.

The body needs forgiveness, the mind needs forgiveness, even
the good ole soul in all its devoted goodness, lamenting and loneliness needs forgiveness, and the spirit,
crazy journeyer, needs

Forgiveness is a different Realm.
We are here to populate that Realm.

Forgiveness helps everyone, the world, each cell of our being

For what are we without forgiveness?
Yes, what are we without forgiveness?

Beasts that tear at one another, digging for the heart with our
incisors, digging to destroy the heart of the other, digging
and tearing
into our own hearts?

And in spite of being trained to believe otherwise,
humans do not have to be beasts —
we are not animals; we are human, meaning humane.
Break training: Forgive.

We hurt one another; in spite of our best attempts to do otherwise,
it happens — we hurt one another, so

Forgive and create a space for connection and for breathing
and for not walking on a planet of broken shells;
let’s walk on oceans.

Humans, let humans be human.
Man, Woman, the human step is compassion.
The superhuman step is forgiveness,
And then, Superman, Superwoman, we fly.
We’re closer to the divine than we know.

Forgive and forgive.

Forgive everyone, and everything, that makes you want to

Forgive everyone, and everything, that makes you howl.
Forgive Cockland in all of its self-made glory.
Cockland, forgive.

Forgiveness is the vehicle to the Land of Miracles —
Forgive and be
the alchemy.

Ask to be forgiven.
Yes, ask others to forgive you.

Forgive life and what it gives you.

Forgive God.

Forgiveness releases you
and gives you song.

Practice forgiveness with every breath
so that at the moment preceding death
you will be forgiving.

look into the mirror and say,
I forgive you; I love you,

Then live in the miracle
of love’s reflection.

Albuquerque, 2014 – 2016


Poet’s Note: “Still Howling” and “Endnote to Still Howling” are an homage to Allen Ginsberg and to his poems “Howl” and “Footnote to Howl,” in celebration of their publication 60 years ago, in 1956, and are a tribute to his publisher, City Lights Publishers, and to Allen’s influences, namely Walt Whitman, but mostly to Allen and what he gave us —the right to howl.

“Still Howling” and “Endnote to Still Howling” are the First Place Winner of the Best Beat Poem Contest, 2016, sponsored by Beatlick Press.

They will appear in the soon-to-be-released book
Still Howling, Poems by Mary Dezember.