May 31, 2010

The Prophecy of Superstition

by Len Kuntz

Step on a crack,
spilled salt,
an owl at daytime—
That a boy so young could be so superstitious was something.
“Keep on like that and you’ll end up in the nut house,” Mother would tell me.

down-sized since March,
single again,
I sit on the edge of this mattress
with all the time in the world on my hands,
lonely as a cave
but validated nonetheless.

May 30, 2010

Two Crushed Hearts And Accidently Stepped On Cups

by Melis Ozturk

We each had a red cup
of cold beer in our hands.
I don't remember how many times
we got them refilled,
Do you?
But I do remember making quick,
underage love in my bed and
when we were done, you saw
neatly pinned pictures of
sex icons lined up
in alphabetical order and,
Playboy magazines stacked with
blonde women and their bodies
looking ten times better than yours.
I didn't say it out loud to your face but,
it slipped out with accident,
(I may have had too much.)
You said, "Fuck you"
and walked out.
(You might've given me the finger too.)
"Aw, Fuck."
Waking up with a hangover,
I see the red cups that
were in our hands last night,
(crushed accidently on the floor.)

May 29, 2010

A Growing Suicide

by Melis Ozturk

decide to kill your own skin
shells of bones
a scratched cross
between your breasts
cannot keep you safe
light cannot get inside you
you are too full of
dark tones
darker undertones
they strike pitch black
filthy like a rat's belly
you are full of
blurry dreams
dreams with a flat ring
echoless tunes
hold hands with
children who cannot smile
a flower couldn’t grow
in your stomach
if it tried
I promised to take care of you
it would’ve been my pleasure
yet you
bleakly opposed

Crazy Bird

by Melis Ozturk

owl eyes
without chestnut feathers
stooped on your body
describing you is difficult

banana bright hair
scent clear as moons
hands hold a book of poems
occasionally lifting
sips of honey-stirred tea
or beer,
I don’t know which

you sit every Thursday morning
same spot
numerous times sleeping
with the book on your lap
drink spilling as
you lie on grass

stars crinkled above
those owl eyes of yours open
and your lips move
like a silent film
you are awake
I wonder
if you dream poems

I tried describing you to someone
but it’s too difficult it’s almost
as if I were talking about a crazy bird

May 28, 2010

i smashed a mouse’s head with a hammer tonight

by David Morton

it knew it had lived all it would and it squealed
when i lifted the hammer up
i hoped it would feel nothing
but it fidgeted after the first hit so
i hit it a few more times
blood came out
i am such a fragile weak thing
weaker than that mouse
it squealed for its life
but if it could take a hammer to my head
the mouse would do it and go eat
a bowl of macaroni and cheese
you poor thing, you working bit of fur
i hurt at that squeal
we both knew it was the last of you
and when i was small
and the easter eggs were out there
i let my brother go ahead of me
and i hope he found the prized one before me
winning and breathing is terrible sometimes
winning is a breath of a stallion
and it is pathetic and macho bullshit
i see a lot of fools winning
a grandson grew older and
pushed his grandmother down the stairs
and he sits with a win in his bank book
a brother screwed his brother’s wife
and he went home, lit a cigar and thought
about winning
all these goddamn useless winners
roaming the world with less soul
than a buffalo
i smashed that little thing's head
and threw it over the fence
it wanted to live so badly
and i want to live so badly
i sit wondering tonight
at the man over me with the hammer
and i panic
i panic,
thinking of my family and
the girl i love
and what they will do
when my personality
has blanked out on them

May 24, 2010

Baby Dills

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Mother had a miscarriage
and kept the fetus
in a pickle jar
on the top shelf of the linen closet.
She called it her ‘baby dill’
and talked to it each time she passed
in the hallway
and at Christmas she hung it a stocking
where she kept her London Dry gin
and scratch tickets
while family were over.

As a child
the jarred fetus mother kept in the linen closet
was rather unsettling to me
but it paled in comparison
to the jarred one she buried under my swing set
out back
and sang old Irish ballads too
in the evenings
when she was drunk on gin.

Needless to say,
when I wanted to swing
I waited my turn at the playground up the street.
The few times I did use the swing set out back
I tried to remain elevated
as long as possible.
Each time I came down
with dragging feet
I always expected something to reach up
and grab me.

May 21, 2010


by George Anderson

In tattered rags
he taps
at our front door
3 or more times
during winter.

Head slung low
cascading white beard
he asks,
'Can I please have
a small bite to eat.’

in the porch
we watch him
scoff a sandwich
or slurp leftover soup.

Then, with a pleasant
but gruff ‘thank you’
he is gone,
a nameless, homeless man
tramping up the street
through the skeleton wind.

Driving on Stilnox

by George Anderson

I awake
my girlfriend on top
aggressively shaking me,
totally pissed off.

‘Where’s my fucking car?’

I have no recollection
absolutely no idea what she is on about
I go back to sleep.

The next night in the garden bar at Ryan’s
I talk to Pommy. He reckons
I came in totally wasted:

‘You looked like a zombie,
an automatum’.

Said I skulled three schooners
one after the other
said fuckall
then split.

I remember going to bed early that night
about 11
downed a small red pill
crossed myself
contemplated the white rabbit.

The car is found a week later
trashed near the bowling club.

In the glove box there is a traffic fine for $220

‘Driving a m/v in a dangerous manner at night.
No headlights. Flat right rear tyre’.

May 20, 2010

US soldier speaks out


May 19, 2010

Pit Stops

by John Rocco

The King of Speed gets his teeth cleaned
the astounded dental assistant
pulling out beer cans and license plates
fish heads and Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
deep flossing thongs and the bleeding hearts of the damned.

She tells him to rinse.

She goes back to it like a coal miner
and out pops all the women
he’s ever loved and almost loved
saying things like “I did it for you”
and: “ I didn’t date him, I just fucked him”
and: “I didn’t have sex for a year. Can
you believe that?” like it’s a goddamned miracle.

The King of Speed with clean sharp teeth
goes to a funeral
but it’s all fun for all
because the guy was 99
and loved to drink.

Later, over 3 Bloody Marys
the King of Speed runs
the teeth cleaning circle complete when
he confesses to the dead guy’s daughter
who is in her 60’s
that as a boy she was his first
sexual obsession
her tight full ass packed in short shorts.

She responded by telling him
how she loved to go to
cold supermarkets in the hot summer
in her short shorts
to play with the cucumbers
to drive all the stock boys crazy.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

Poe is Buried in Baltimore

by John Rocco

That night on the Block
(one entire block in Baltimore
is just a row of cheap bars
and strip joints ending in a police station)
the doormen at the club open the door
to us like we are visiting royalty
dropping a fortune.
I wished I could remember the night before
but that night I get the greatest compliment
from a stripper:
“Do you always have lap dances like that?”

We spilled booze
on his real grave
before we left.

May 18, 2010

more "bravery" and "heroism" in Iraq

*rape and murder

*wiping out whole families

Afghan children murdered execution-style by U.S. forces


May 17, 2010

Crazy Irish

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The beer and wine
are fine
but once I get into the whisky
the crazy Irish comes out
and I slather on the war paint
and howl at the moon
from my kitchen window
before picking one long stem rose
from my neighbour’s garden
for every crossword clue I get right
on the puzzle I’m doing.

By the next afternoon
when I go out to mail a letter,
the rest of the neighbourhood has come together
and each planted something
to replenish my neighbour’s garden.

The great advantage of being crazy
is that no one ever comments
on what you’ve done
for fear of

what you’ll do.

Bloody Towel

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

When I woke up
this afternoon
there was a bloody towel
in the bathroom
which graced the floor
without remark.
I do not know how it
got there.
I’ve scoured my body for fresh wounds
but nothing.
I stole a newspaper
and read it front to back
but nothing seems to explain away
the bloody towel.

It could be a plant
but I’m far from certain.

Anyone who may have information
pertaining to the bloody towel
is urged to

keep it to yourself.

May 16, 2010

Next comes agony

by Brian Rosenberger

It’s a bus stop
A lost taxi
A letter never mailed
It’s a waiting game you can’t win
It’s life
It’s a sucker bet, a sucker punch
and we’re all suckers
It’s you and me and our respective aunts and uncles
It’s the question mark that goes unanswered
It’s a fucking lifetime, no chaser
and you better get used to it
because it’s here and it’s now
and it goes on just short of forever
but none of us ever last that long.
Thank God.

*Brian has two books waiting to be unleashed in 2010. additional updates can be found at

May 13, 2010

Doing it Jack Allen Style

by Lynne Hayes

With the grip of a possessed lover,
you took my hand
leading me backwards
to the alley where we met,
broke each other.
Amid the concrete, empty soda cans
and trashy love songs from sleepy alley men,
we burned each other
with love that left our signatures
on the walls, graffiti-style,

as the band played on and
your breath grew strong,
you never heard my nails break,
or saw my fingers bleed onto mortar
as I made a crack,
big enough to hook my life into.

May 12, 2010

this and that

by Peycho Kanev

I had rejected the whole discipline of
the arts and the governments and I
understand everything that was
understandable for others:
I lift my whiskey glass now
in this mist
in this grey night
and I get everything:
the gentleness of the morning, the silence,
the walls weep like old paintings
burning at the bonfire, the sky, the black sky
everything is real, unbent, and
shining and burning like the fire in my
this thing in me
screaming, wailing, wanting, demanding
this thing in me
black as the night, eternal
as the face of the mountain, long as
the rope at the gallows, regally as the
dance of the fly in the web.

the spider…

but I have a little more whiskey
and therefore a chance.

One face above all

by Peycho Kanev

My face my morning face
in front of the old mirror,
razor in my hand and I imagine
wheat and blood;
what are the veins but rivers
of my fading memory,
the empires will fall
the universe will collapse
the roaches will triumph:
but it is still early
and as the tomb rock rolls among
skulls of the geniuses of the past
as the realm of the future winks at us
we are here I say and notice the razor
in my hand:
it is durable-
it will outlive the tyrants, the ants
and the trees,
every sunset, every winter,
every eclipse,
the things that make us wonder
but not enough to give us
the answers.

May 8, 2010


by M.P. Powers

he's reading his poems
to a quiet audience, a tame audience.
a little light falls over
his baldness and dances softly
about his ears. his hands
are delicate and trembling
little flowers. perhaps
they are nervous. perhaps they know
what he's not yet ready
to admit - that there's
something lacking in his formulaic
verse. that his mfa degree
is trash next to soul. that there's nothing
in the way he rolls the precious
verbiage around
his palate that will save him tonight.
no matter how many careful
images he ties together;
no matter how many iambs, dactyls, tetrameters
he exhumes from the grave,
it will never work; the muses shit
on him, the night goes

May 7, 2010

"America is in absolute psychiatric denial of its genocidal maniacal nature."

--Vietnam veteran Mike Hastie


May 6, 2010

Art Boom 80s

by Ivan Jenson

Era of Day-Glo
and nightclubs
when rich
blended with poor
of the East Village
filled with
magic mushroom
and punk prestige
how painters
were royalty
and everyone
who was anyone
dressed in black
street walkers
still beautiful
before crack's
then Wall Street crashed
and burned the empire
of cash, canvas
and overnight careers
era of pink, green,
and blue
I too
was a pop
lived in a storefront
castle on 12th street
walked Downtown
nose up
through Manhattan’s
cocaine flurries

May 5, 2010

The Blue of Every Flame

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Tweekers in car parks

jack cars for a fix

while muggers lay in wait

for first dates

and the Bowery drunks

stumble out into traffic

giving Happy Hour legs.

The black eyed susan across the hall

started tricking again

and now her old man

is back downtown

for assault and battery

while I sit half mad

on a bed full of empty Vodka minis

rubbing magazine cologne samples

all over my chest

and dancing in front of the vanity

like some dime store whirling dervish

as the roaches scurry

the neon hums

and the serviced johns in the stairwell

moan through paper thin walls.

All around me,

the world is alive

and I

am the mad manic heart

of the universe.

The blue of every flame.

May 3, 2010

Living for Sleep

by Maxwell Baumbach

Her eyes pry open
too early for her taste

at 9:41 AM
regret was pronounced alive

the man who lies beside her
she thinks she knows his name
is without motion
in a place outside reality

she wishes to be where he is

in sleep there are no mistakes

even nightmares
last only a short while

life is not the same

she can not wake from this terror

love was never her friend
but she thinks she knows what it is

one night stands
are where she searches for worth
going from man to man

this is not the way to find value
she thinks she knows that

days used to pass
that she wished would never end

now sleep is all she lives for