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.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Kathleen Vibbert (Cass) is retired, studies all forms of poetry, manages low vision, and enjoys traveling and her granddaughter. She was recently a finalist in the Palettes & Quills Chapbook contest judged by Dorianne Laux, was also included in Muscaldine Lines Anthology, OVS and Women Celebrating Women Anthology.
He arrives at her grave daily,
with a vase shaped like eggplant,
blue iris open and lightheaded.
He stands still in the sun,
as if to warm her again,
kneels by her iron bed,
clears dandelion and mud
from the crevice of her name.
His eyes are hard kernals deeply set and dry,
he begins the conversation,
Your peonies have changed from pink
to white this year
the screen door lost its wings
to a summer storm
I miss your flute, it rests
in the case by the armoire
Sis and Johnny have invited me to Memphis;
I believe I’ll go.
Tonight, I’ll pour a spice rum ,
grab my leather jacket, fleece scarf,
we’ll finish this on back porch.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Ruth Hill was born and educated in upstate New York. She has traveled North America extensively, including two years in Alaska, and five years sailing in BC. She is now a Certified Design Engineer. Over 70 of her first year works have been selected for publication.
Is memory Heaven, then,
where the things we love are stored
like toys in an attic?
Is that where we get to live
when this world is over?
Up in the sunbeam on the worn planks?
We’d better store things up, then,
to play with for eternity.
Is that where our friends are waiting?
…and where we’ll wait for friends?
…to come up and join us,
and play again?
Are regrets, then, the basement dungeon?
…with rat poison and traps, damp and dark,
with electrical shorts and coal dust,
…is that where the druggies hang out,
where the bad kids go?
…to pretend they’re having a good time,
having shut themselves off from the attic,
when it was no longer good enough for them,
or they stopped loving us?
Did they just feel left out?
Could we have made it better for them?
Dare we ask?
…and risk our safety on their broken stairs?
I’m afraid of them.
I want to climb to comfort,
lock the attic door.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Dan is an internet poet who lives in Kimberly, Idaho
"I love pancakes." I said.
"I love pancakes, too." She said.
"Please pass the syrup." I said.
"Here ya go." She said as she handed me the bottle.
"I need butter first." I said.
"Yes, melt the butter on the pancakes first." She said.
"I need a fork." I said.
"Oh, yeah, you do." She said.
She got up out of her seat,
went to the kitchen,
and returned with a fork.
I began eating the pancakes. The butter
had melted superbly, the syrup
pooled sweetly, and my gut
got full, and the sun was out
and shining through the window
onto our breakfasts as though
the 4th of July, Christmas,
and all the birthdays on Earth
filled our plates at the same time
and we were eating them
as one and they were