Wednesday, December 9, 2015
This is a blog post I worked really hard on then it was rejected. I figure no one else is going to buy it but I think it's pretty good.
Ok, let's start at the beginning. Looking for the ugliest anything, where do we start? What is ugly? It may be easier to define for vision, for human faces than for words. Human beings are very visual creatures. There are many more articles and thoughtful pieces written about ugly visual things than ugly sounds. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," writes the ancient Greek commentator. Shakespeare echoes centuries later with "Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye."
Getting Things Straight:
The word "ugly" itself stems from the old Norse "uggligr," meaning dreadful or fearful. Fear and immorality are somehow touched by the word "ugly" because of the deep connection the medieval church made between morality and physical beauty. Giving children a "pretty name" was giving them the gift of moral regeneracy. "No ugly woman," writes the 19th century poet in Noctes Ambrosionae, "ever yet a wrote a truly beautiful poem the length of her little finger."
Bringing us down to earth:
One thing that makes a word ugly is that the word is harmful or frightening. Many feel that curses are ugly. They often denote ugly acts, socially unappealing acts, or behaviors that disrupt the normal and peaceful flow of social life. Thus words like "bowels" or "crotch" (or some of the epithets that stand for these) are considered ugly, rude and disruptive. Even the "F" word that stands for sexual acts that need to be done in private is considered ugly by many.
Sometimes ugliness brings us down to earth, when we prefer to be in an ideal and undisturbed place. Sir Edward Sullivan wrote in 1894, "beauty attracts attention, and ugliness repels it." Ugliness is earthiness. Ugly people are thought to be closer to the physical side of life. In Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien depicts the Orcs, those ugliest of creatures, as artificial creatures, magically formed out of mud. And of course the bible depicts the human race as being formed in much the same way, separating humanity from heaven.
There is something ugly about words that make noises in the throat, as compared to words that slip breathlessly through the lips. We don't want to be reminded of the presence of the body when we speak. We especially don't want to be reminded of fluids that gurgle around in our throats. Guttural languages like German and Dutch are judged by many as the most ugly because they contain many of those sounds. Guttural sounds are defined as strange, unpleasant and disagreeable utterances. The English language has inherited many guttural-sounding words from the Nordic languages as well as more pleasant words from Latin-based languages.
That gets us closer to ugly words. The deeply non-logical way the human brain works on language is demonstrated by irony. Many words largely judged as ugly actually denote constructive, even beautiful things. The component parts of the word suggest earthy things or things better left secret.
Many gross words are onomatopoeic. They stir up a synesthetic reaction. The sounds of the word bring up body parts and unpleasant actions that have nothing to do with the actual meaning. The origin of words is sometimes lost so far back in time that the meaning changes from something ugly to something high-reaching. There are words that have little meaning beyond what the sound does to the imagination.
An ugly words list:
Anybody can draw up their own list.
- The word "pulchritude" is often described as an ugly word, even though it denotes "physical beauty." Somehow, the sound of the word reminds many of obesity. There is a hip and thigh quality about it. Commenting in "Sesquiotica" a blogger writes, "It [the word] brings to the eyes broken patterns of pulp, mulch, rude, pull...In sound it tosses in a couple of the allophonic effects in English that non-English speakers are apt to find unpleasant or vulgar..."
- "Gestational" brings us quickly down to earth. It denotes the nutritional part of carrying a fetus. However, many see it as connoting a cold, secret side of pregnancy that still, even in this day and age, remain private. Writing in "The Australian," Melinda Tankard Reist described the word as representing "The objectification of women's bodies and commodification of childbirth." She reminds us of passages in the novel Dune depicting "axlotl tanks" which are women who are lobotomized and whose bodies are used as "gestational carriers for clones."
- "Regurgitate" and its more prosaic version, "vomit" are also among the ugliest words in the English language. No word takes us closer to the bodily functions that should be hidden than these words that denote the undoing of eating. These words are unpleasant because they are shameful as are so many unpleasant words.
- The word "quark" is kinky, rather than strictly ugly in the opinion of most. James Joyce used the word in Finnegan's Wake in a scurrilous 13 line poem directed against King Mark, the cuckolded husband in the Trisdan legend. "Three quarks for Master Mark/ Sure he hasn't got much of a bark/ and sure any he has it's all beside the mark." The word was adopted by theoretical physicist Murray Gell-Mann during the time when a group of theoretical physics were inventing kinky names for subatomic particles. It was also used as the name of a rather unattractive Star Trek Ferengi character, who is a kind of swindler.
- A lot of people don't like the word "mooch." To mooch is to get things from others without paying for them. It's not quite stealing, more like finagling. "Mooch" has a comic kind of nastiness about it. When people feel it's ugly, it appears to inherit its ugliness from the annoying person and actions it designates. A mooch is a creature of the comedic, vaudville stage. Who remembers Cab Calloway and his theme song about "Minnie the Moocher?" We laughed.
- A pugilist is simply a boxer. The word dates back to the 1640s. There are many ugly things associated with the word, like a "pug," an ugly little dog. Many people vote that word into the ugly list. The classic fist fighter was far more brutal than they are today. According to the classics, these fighters used to break each other's ribs, gouge out each other's eyes, then stand over the loser, laughing. That's pretty ugly all right.
In his blog, "Words Going Wild," Jim Bernhard, quotes the poetry of the infamous "Bard of Buffalo Bayou" who gave us a full and quick dose of ugly words when he attempted to write the ugliest verse in the English language.
Vomit, smegma, phlegm, and pus, all pasty in a sac,/ Schmeared with a fetid spatula upon a plump kakkak,/ Discharge a kumquat ointment on the scab of that smallpox,/ Then honk in moist cacaphony in the jazz of some jukebox./ The curdled veggie, full of snotty sap--just masticate; / If kooky, flatulent, don’t gripe or puke—regurgitate./ A gargoyle with no boobs is feisty, pregnant and phlegmatic,/ For routine slaughter, kudos for a pustule plutocratic./ A gutted, Brobdingnagian, crepuscular quahog/ Has so much sticktoitniveness, you can crunch it in a blog./ A bunion on a rural juror’s crotch is treachery,/ Pulchritude and privilege fructify with synergy./ My spouse’s fiscal tax will leave my gusset with a gash./ Tell me what aasvogel means, I’ll give you a chunk of cash!"
Monday, November 30, 2015
There is nothing delicate or pretty
about the way hay rides in the ditch
sour grass and shadowy, hiding things at night
Hardy cohabitant, maker of air
Succumbed to snow? No.
The scorching wind pummels it without winning
The drenching rain leaves nothing
but spots of wet and dry mold
It stands in spinebinding cold
Herbicides turn it red, apparently dead
embarrassed, but it browns up again
and resumes healing the damaged earth
And still it stands,
witness only to its own existence
as if its only purpose were to protect its young
New growth unaware of its prelude provider
fights for space up through its smothering guardian
the flexing bright green babies so unlike
their ancient battered predecessors
...and the little grass says, “Look how beautiful I am!”
Does it listen to what the straw has to say?
Or does it say, “You are old and wasted, man or m’am.”
...but in its DNA,
is everything the straw wanted to say.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Monday, September 21, 2015
by Ruth Hill
Ruth was born and educated in upstate New York, and traveled North America extensively. She now lives and writes in Northern British Columbia. She is a Certified Design Engineer, lifelong dedicated tutor, and enjoys spoken word. She has won 1st prizes in Gulf Coast Ethnic & Jazz Poetry, Heart Poetry, Lucidity, Poets for Human Rights, and Writers Rising Up. Over 250 of her poems have won awards or publication in the US, Canada, UK, and Israel. She enjoys email from other poets.
Though many love the topiary, boxwood,
I prefer a garden long overgrown
and spread into the wild,
wild interbreeding to reclaim ancestral ties
open pollinating freely
unconcerned with who is better
wind laying all down equally
rain drunk by all equally
verdant and effusive
floribundant and intrusive
hills all willy-nilly silly frilly
with montage-collage portages
orange lilies poking up through burgundy rhubarb
blue flax and michaelmas by wild goldenrod
for "there is no blue without the yellow”
michaelmas not blue nor purple nor mauve nor pewter
pincushions not lemon or lime but hued over time
milkweed and thistles fluffing wildly like bubble machines
aromas of leaf mold, sweet earth and wild orchids
textures heaped up like thrift store clearance
colors not edited by more ‘educated’ eyes
burden of fleas and chiggers and bees and flies
candied nectar leaking from necks
thick alkaline poison protects
the soft and stiff and harsh and hardy
climbing all over each other in gorgeous orgy
oblivious, intertwined, without prejudice
strolled through, it and its creator
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Saturday, May 16, 2015
I love licking you,
you taste great.
If you were on a menu,
I’d keep picking you,
clean my plate.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Monday, July 7, 2014
I felt this strangeness
Coming out, like wintry frozen
Rivers, ribbons on my old guitar—when
I met her in the park; it was the sense,
Hanging like a dead criminal, that love
Would punch me in the nose—blood would
Flow gently in scintillating leaf shadow tree light
Out all over the dried dead earth, and
Flowers, like one sided mirrors, would grow.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Anna is a brave poet with Chinese origin, who writes in English and Chinese. She lives in Toronto Canada. Anna is well recognized for her poetic commentaries on current events in Toronto. She is the recipient of several prizes. I am proud to be her internet colleague. According to Anna, this poem was written about me.--Don Schaeffer
Every few days or so,
he sends his short poems.
New and ink-dripping,
rarely making a ripple…
Occasionally I open them, seldom reply.
I suppose he sends each to many of us-
the various busy and lonely souls.
Now snow is here;
the trail is quiet.
I spread a few biscuits around.
No bird at all.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Marc is my son and Hannah my first granddaughter (age 5).
Hannah and I walked to her school today (half an hour or so). She sang for the first 20 minutes -- a song about how when she lived in "Sky Scraper City" (a place she often talks about as her second country) she was a grown up, grew old and died.. and then someone came.. and picked her up.. and.. placed her in her Mother's belly. That she was "reborn". (Her words). Gave me shivers.. it was a beautiful song.
Monday, May 27, 2013
by Joshua Koubek
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Tom has appeared here before. He is a latter day beat poet, brimming with energy, searching for regeneracy, self-defense, and self-destruction. This is one of his shorter works. Tom is a magic, mystical free spirit. His writing reflects that.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Generally nice, feeling he was, thinking he was a negotiator who could obtain any reasonable agreement and could find any likeable compromise, Joseph really didn't know who he was. His true identity, how he was actually seen in the world, was kept a secret from him.
Joseph lived a very quiet life. He slept alone, awoke in fuzzy fantasies which stretched out from his dreams. The day was loaded with rituals and appetites. The knife edges of give and take rarely penetrated even the outside of the outer armor boundary layers.
Joseph thought about how he cleans everything up, as if he were not there. Everything spent on Joseph, he would pay back,. He would drink little and take only one plate, cleaned after each meal with water that would have flowed anyway. He was a healthy being, demanding nothing of the future. When I say goodbye, Joseph thought. I will not leave a residue, nothing added or taken. All my body products will be returned to the earth. The products of my brain are stored in atoms easily reprogrammed or written on paper which melts in the rain.
Joseph couldn't speak in the fog. It lubricated space, stuffing space. Voices couldn't vibrate this air. Doorbells couldn't ring. The telephone sat uselessly with all it's gay little red lights un-winking. Joseph felt the containment of his space. He was free but so cold. Freedom was cold, all his pathways were trod in the snow.
Joseph dared to wish for winter to be over. Even though he didn't want to wish away any precious hours. It's just that in the spring he could walk. His vision could stretch itself over human-populated streets and he could hope for sound.
Far away were the warm warrens where voices were breathed, breath intermingled with breath, friendliness continuously tested, results instantaneously fed back, voices made sense or no sense, but the real acts of living and dying took place. Joseph knew the people there. He had been there to see them although he was not one of them for many years. He couldn't remember when.
They have big cheeks. They want to stuff as many pleasures into the years as their cheeks can hold. They spend hours in the malls and streets laughing, their eyes sitting in that strange dark background that comes from paint and their hair delicate and clean, caught and moved by every breeze. They often keep their mouths open letting everybody see their pure pink tongues. So much fun, they are immersed in funny things and baubles. The groups of friends who know everybody, assume success and never get turned away. Forever, they will buy things that make no sense and sip the manufactured pleasure of seeing everyone notice. They will live forever. They will pack to the brightest avenues forever.
But Joseph knew how he was forever making nightmares out of the grit in the deepest basement bedroom of his heart. Even when he wanted to make fun, the fun he created made nightmares.
Joseph rolled out of bed. His room crowded with books but not books worthy of respect, junk books picked up at crumbled used book stores and thrift bargains from church basements. He rarely read books.
He made his way through corridors of piles organized around his stuffed chairs. Piles became shrines in powder and cobweb. Joseph remembered the symbollism and made subtle but appropriate genuflections as he passed them.
Then he reached the exit. Joseph wore worn khaki pants and a thin jacket over a dark brown t-shirt. He reached over to a hook on the wall and pulled off a gray padded winter coat, slipped it on, opened the heavy door and went outside. The ground was speckled with dry snow. The wind came in blasts which threw the snow up over his face in waves.
Joseph was a gray man with an unkempt look. No one ever sampled his breath but nobody trusted it. Everyone wondered about his nights. Everyone imagined his bed was tossed and marked with dark bands. But even Joseph, who sleeps alone and eats alone and whose speech is unpracticed, even Joseph, in private, constructed wistful images of love.
Joseph made his way to the nearby Zellers Cafe. He had no friends there but the waitresses were sympathetic. This was about the only social life he needed. A word of recognition coupled with comfort food for an hour satisfied something very basic.
Joseph was a regular at houses of social prostitution. He found them in many nearby businesses. He could enjoy them not tainted with the nuisance of immorality. Many people made their living that way. In fact, there was a time, Joseph would admit that he would look for things to photocopy just so he could spend time with the engaging staff at the nearby stationary store.
Joseph was relieved when he left home. He needed to get away from the house where he spent so much of his life. The house was haunted by persons who were still living. Alone crouched under the couch, bounced against the damaged doors. Joseph kept heairng the voices of accidents.
He returned to the house just before noon, sat on the chair up against the kitchen table. He cried.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Ruth was raised in upstate New York. She sailed BC for five years, then settled in northern BC. Her writings were selected by The Litchfield Review, Level 4 Press, Ocean Magazine, Hastings International Poetry, Utmost Christian Writers, Lucidity, Georgia Poetry Society's Langston Hughes Award, Tom Howard Poetry, Word Catalyst, MODOC Forum, Senior Poets Laureate, Peace River Anthology, Dancing Poetry, and Arc Poetry. Ruth enjoys email from other writers.
I ever saw a crippled spring horse.
which I trailered home to fix.
I found again that little lonely spring.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
This is micro fiction by a poet who has been in here with his distinctive style several times. Warning, he is very sad.
Back on the highway, when I’d hitchhiked with Nicole and October ate the last bits of meat left on the bones of summer, the sky was a smoke grey. The smudge of the sky held nothing but charcoal. It smudged out all the sunlight. The wispy quality of autumn clung to our hair and rosy knuckles. I’d wanted to quit smoking a week earlier, and had tried. I’d thrown a package of Drum rolling tobacco disdainfully into a puddle and in the cold wind where transport trucks clattered with angry pistons and the air smelled of diesel, we had watched as the reddish tobacco stuck out haphazardly like a lost toupee. I hadn’t smoked in a week and the dust and the carcinogens were beginning to expunge themselves in my yellowy spit. Our noses ran on annoyingly like late night television. She seemed to me to be my left arm. I had dreamt the night we’d slept in the semi-trailer of a transport truck that a car had torn off her right arm in a midnight accident, leaking like a slit open pomegranate with beads of blood through red and black plaid. A red middle-class pseudo-sports car pulled up. We got used to these new faces. He was as bored and drained by the fat leech of impending winter as we were. He offered me a smoke and I pretended to acquiesce, in hopes of eluding myself. I lit the cigarette with the push in electric lighter. A Du Maurier, I always thought that they tasted the way urine smells after drinking a Colt 45. I smoked it anyway. It was a sickly dizziness that deadened my face with a cadaverous ghostliness. The smoke like a serpent slipped down my throat into my veins and I felt emptied, nothing mattered then. I thought of Nicole as the smoke rose, then I inhaled.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
is to nuzzle them affectionately,
wake them up at dawn while nobody
has anything much on – kiss their little lips
and let them know whatever slips
between you will be reconnoitered with
in privacy. Soon whatever you had
thought the point was to pursue will lose
its primacy and be replaced by something
like a clue – gently, without warning,
stretching its accoutrements, and yawning.
Not a bad way to begin a morning.
Keeps missing whatever I’d call a ‘myself.’
Second might do,
through its sneaky ambiguous usage of ‘you.’
‘One’ has a sort of a Jamesian tone,
but it sits rather too much aloofly alone.
Personal pronouns keep missing the bus:
they only report what purports to be ‘us.’
So I tried to look ‘I’ in the eye.
I drew what I saw in the mirror. Oh my.
Something looks back from the page.
Quiet, polite – but in covert outrage.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
resident post-beat poet
I do feel better- tag the tarred
esoteric goulash- bitter monkey onions
Hero sham there in the tallow candle wax
among the dust
each feathered crocus
so many empty hopes in
dreams of large, veiny branches
just pain painted white
here in the shame belly
a dignified toad eye smile receptacle
against all the natural laws
physics like icicle chains
in eskimo politically correct lobotomy rainbow
- smile with narrow evil eyes
Friday, March 16, 2012
by Tom Prime
A "short story"
We grew up on an asphalt black mouthed hill with a tongue filled with white people's families. I don’t remember when the forest fell but I imagined it to be once populated with the greatness of violent sacrilegious natives combing its gnarled and blackened earthen stomach. I imagined where we rushed about among the sparse etchings of ravaged limbs, a free world, existing symbiotic with every color of dirt and moss and rainbow through dewdrop. We crafted crude, innocuous idols of death's wizened finger. Bow and arrows and bombs of old paint and gasoline, ours was a world of hidden wars, forts of plywood and wings of cardboard refusing to extol our battle against the clenched fists of science with flight- the arching womb of innocence. A long plastic intestinal drainage pipe ran down our muscular eye of reality into the earth beneath the suburbs, dense with the power and authority of a world separate from our own. Curry smelling immigrants separate, disconnected, impossible to understand but forgotten quickly with parental cautionary reproof- the dangerous world of escaping adversity. The run off of British Columbian grey skies seeped like long strands of dirty black and greasy hair down the monumental adolescent hill- half a kilometer. My brother and I lacking maturity and physical understanding looked down the black snake mouth and thought as thin and wispy and as careless as the shifting winds. Climbing into the coiling rubber walls among the sludge and evaporating rainwater we looked into the great eye of death and turned away.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Tom has appeared here before. He is a latter day beat poet, brimming with energy, searching for regeneracy, self-defense, and self-destruction. This is one of his shorter works.
Don't you bleed ever so quietly? Much to my
dismay I kinda got killed by a dragon. It is as
much a confusing dismal world as round faced
sponge colored toads- I swallowed and fire extinguisher
eyes released hot steam sauna rock water. I tadpoled
in missionary mourning- glued into gelatin bodies- hear
the kerosene stove hissing like a misanthropic raccoon
in heat of rusty tear nail drops.
I kinda got killed by a dragon-
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The poet drove a commuter bus between NJ and NYC for 14 years. In 1991 he shifted into a corporate sales career in communications. In 2002 Lee opened a small restaurant, Dale's Cafe, (named after my wife) in Bartonsville PA in the Poconos. He has been married to Dale Ann (Derby) since 1983. They have seven children. His eighth grandchild is due February, 2012.
Captive monkeys jack off in daylight,
indifferent to anyone watching.
Captive monkeys toss feces out of boredom.
They give furry-faced stares,
mirrors of our predicaments
jaded from jungle undelivered.
Some captive monkeys have imagination.
They sit their bald asses on platforms.
With keypads, remotes and dexterity
they simulate wildness into their zoological digs.
They elevate the playing with shit into a game of war.
The act of jacking off becomes an art of ritual.
We sense a new fierceness in their eyes.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Arunansu Banerjee, from Kolkata, West Bengal, India, has been writing poetry only a few years. His work appeared on web forums such as Here & Now, Kritya and The Peregrine Muse. He is a teacher by profession, with a degree in physics and a specialty in softwares. His primary love is listening to Indian Classical music. Favorite poets include Charles Bukowski, John Keats, Rabindranath Tagore, E.E.Cummings, Li Po, Mary Oliver, Pablo Neruda and Matsuo Basho.
He's obese, double-chinned, middle-aged.
He can mumble a few words as and when
his memory allows him. Met with a mishap
in some early spring in the altitudes of Himalayas,
and lost his locomotion. Days are only numbers now,
so are the nights. He lies composed in a hospital bed
next to mine.
Each day his wife visits him, a frail woman
with a morbid face, and begs him to utter her name.
He observes her in silence. Maybe
all he remembers are the pines and rhododendrons,
the wildflowers and the dictionary of birds in the lap
of ancient moss-ridden rocks.
He takes scarce notice of me, with his eyes glued
to the ceiling fan. Gulps down food, water, medicines
when told. Sleeps when told.
I watch a physiotherapist folding his arms, limbs.
Up and down. Up and down. Then sideways-
left to right, right to left. The man struggles hard
to stir up the patient, to somehow impart a rhythm
to his stiffened existence. The patient mutters at times
the names of places of an earlier world
where morning fog gives way to the splendor
of icy peaks
but then he shudders
as leaves do
amid the shivering tone of autumn wind.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Conceived in Kiev, Ukraine, Alex Nodopaka first exhibited in Russia then finger-painted in Austria, studied tongue-in-cheek at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Casablanca, Morocco.
Alex says, "Presently I am a full time artist, writer and art critic wishfully wishing to act in a Sundance movie."
that his walking stick is used to hit people
and that publishing is vulgar and cheap
and that he has nothing to be happy about
and that the whole world stinks
and that the lack of culture is depressing
and that he is looking forward to dying
I'm elated to inform you that I'm very happy
to have contributed only intellectual junk to society.
I've been an engineer and an artist of every type
for all of my life. I'm proud to report that seeing
the consumer population go through
withdrawal symptoms has me laughing sardonically
They never should've encouraged me
with gold and silver and bestow upon me
august laurels to celebrate my junking up their world
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Robert says, Robert Florey isn't my real name. Mine is difficult, and clunky. Robert Florey was a more-or-less hack director.
I've mostly been a cardiopulmonary tech, in Los Angeles, but now, as you can see, I'm located in Washington State, and I'm semi-retired.
I think you can find my birthday, March 7th 1945.
I am Robert Florey. I live in Washington State, in the United States.It has a total population of around six million Homo Sapiens.I am one in six million.
I do not write poetry. I write 'pieces', or 'works', or 'pieces of junk poetry'.
It isn't because I'm lowering myself to a bunch of unsophisticated country folk who could not separate a tryptich from a triole from a trochee.
It is because, sadly, I find I cannot write poetry to save my life.
But I hope to entertain here and there.
And I can critique better than I can poetize.
I can at least point out points of difficulty. If they're difficult for me, they're bound to be difficult for others.
I know the rules of the road, I've studied more theories of poetry than I can count.
I tend towards Ezra Pound's ideas on the subject, they make sense to me as an argument, but I've also noticed that the best of the poets generally follow his advice pretty closely.
In my opinion, art is mostly a matter of taste. One cannot write a perfect poem:that is, one that delivers something important or entertaining to every person whoreads or hears it.
One is always writing for a limited audience.
I think that all critique that actually says something, that isn't pap, like,'oh, I liked the third line in the second stanza' or something equally uninformative,is valuable to the author, because it will point out where the author mightinclude more people than she/he has actually done.
Costermonger thou art;
a potato is to thine own self
something to tutor with,
to take to the shake-down
and rantipole, as with a wife, methinks.
The good Lord hath made thee thus,
and the good Lord hast tried thee
and found thee as thick as grass,
eek as a rick of hay,
He is satisfied with his wittles,
be they as they may;
and if perchance, costermonger
you may delay
now and again
with some drab, some Sal upon the canal,
still a good Lord can thole a whitlow
upon one or t'other hand;
not so severe is the sin, to blow
away the chance of a dream in Heaven.
Be then what thou art, costermonger,
and fear not to depart.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Daniel J. Flore III has volunteered to teach poetry as a rehabilitation tool for people suffering from various forms of mental illness. He was awarded the Florence Kerrigan Memorial Scholarship to the 2009 Philadelphia Writers Conference. He resides in Pennsylvania with his fiamce.
you come to me in my sleep
penetrating the heavy curtain I try to lift during the day
you wiggle your way through my swampy eyes
your tan is an ocean
and sometimes all the earth sinks in it
especially my white stone feet
I watch them submerged in your depths
where there is no sound but your giggle
it is a dragonfly
and its hum is a riddle that I'm the answer to
its at this realization
that I make you leave
to go back to the sun
and the mystery of your wings
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Fred Longworth restores vintage audio components for a living. His poems have appeared in numerous journals including California Quarterly, Comstock Review, Pearl, Rattapallax, Spillway, and Stirring.
The shirt everyone adored
when you slipped it on
finally fell into disrepair, collar ragged
as an elder's voice, pockets torn
like the prospects of the disillusioned.
Still, you kept on showing it off,
even as admirers turned to other darlings,
and shadows that used to part for you
hardened into impenetrable walls.
When I saw you last, rats scampered
at your heels, and moths fluttered
around your head. As for the shirt,
ligatures of vanity dangled like cobwebs.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Dunstan Attard was born in 1953 on the Mediterranean island of Malta where he still lives. The significant influence on his life was his father who struggled to come to term with his detachment from his agricultural and deeply religious comminty in Gozo to live in the ambitious environment of a Maltese town. Attard's fascination with island life wrapped in steep history today energises his concept of being. Attard, who's first language is Maltese shares his emotions using the English language which is his second language. He rarely makes an effort to communicate with his reader as his poetry is very often a series of words that surface through his emotions at the time of writing.
in bundles of echoes
that come from perfumes
of childhood roses
the resigned flesh
of silver moons
then comes the resolution
not to adopt another dog,
for too great is the pain
of the passing away
then eerie emptiness
into cracks of water
spreading the alphabets
that taste of mint
i call on the old landscape
and gaze on the stillness
of empty stables
the horses have become butterflies,
i empty ships
Monday, June 13, 2011
Coping is fun
I think as I lounge
in late Spring
while the kitchen
is slowly reborn
and I have made tea
on a slow grill outburner.
We are in a bubble
The insects are kind
I have never heard
so many birds.
One of them is singing,
"we need ya-we need ya-
Thursday, April 21, 2011
by Guy Kettlehack
Guy appears in a previous piece.
We imagine that the Angel was immensely strong.
What if we are wrong?
What if he was feeble, soft, ethereal –
apt, perhaps, for Paradise, but not at all
equipped for this pragmatic and incarnate world?
What if how the episode unfurled
required Jacob to change strategy
from grapple to caress: so that, as he
lay hands on that mild evanescent flesh,
he quickly comprehended that his task – a fresh
enlightenment suffusing him, below, above –
must change from causing pain to making love?
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Guy says, "I'm not entirely sure why I'm on this site -- someone must have suggested it -- and I'm happy, I suppose, to be 'linkable' in some way or other, but my more conventionally marketable skills are not what I'm pursuing now: I no longer write nonfiction 'self-help' prose (which is I guess would be the category of most of my published books) nor do I book-doctor or edit or consult publishing-wise (which I'd done for many years): I am now that strange useless if happy pariah, a poet -- who's recently added art (to which I've returned after many years) in the form of illustrations for my poems: and playing the violin with some regularity & I hope to some pleasing effect. So I'm not looking for 'work' -- although am always open to peculiar and interesting suggestions for -- ha: well, that's where you may come in. Anyway, I'm here in one form or another. Do with me what you will. "
The thing that doesn’t want to be
is stuck here for what feels, to it, like an eternity –
which guarantees, of course, it’s not:
but rather merely lots and lots of undesired time.
It’s locked into its vast inarguable premise
that it didn’t ask for this. It is devoid of fear –
which might at least have lent it focus.
One might suppose that its inertia
would result in some repose, but no rest nourishes:
indeed, not one thing flourishes –
not even hatred, fury or psychosis. Sometimes
it daydreams (since it never sleeps)
that some thrombosis might deliver it
from having to exist: but it creeps through
another eon and persists. Its blood runs ruthlessly.
It seems to know that once you’ve come,
you cannot go. At least not for a trillion trillion
trillion trillion trillion trillion years* or so.