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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zamir Birnbach ------- four poems

Zamir Birnbach

“Honeysuckle Sickness”
Bodies steam, widening
spectrum of exposure to the strobe
floral patterns flaunted breasts
pilot caps crowned on shaved brows
sleek men crowding the kitchen:
a frantic quest for more elixir.

Arm reaches, extending the unmistakable
sweating - eye sight hazy
peering into its purple depths as I drink

the sweetness sometimes lingers with the scent of joy
to mask the salutations, late assignments, novel knowledge,
we search for alternatives,
ways to abscond from the sober.

Weekend hordes squeeze rooms,
sloppy introductions, gurgles of attraction
these words get tossed around in the laundromat of discussion
washing over me with pungent tide
exuding from the doorframe once the cycle is complete.
But the rounds repeat.
I grow sick of this saccharine lifestyle.

“It’s Always Sunny Above the Clouds”

Traveling east in evening expedites nature.
Close your window to blinding beams 
Open it to a retreating molten orb. 

Most towns are clumped, crippled fireflies, only void between. 
Steady crimson flash on the tip of the wing and your conscience.

Stars melt into lineless horizons and cities indistinguishable. 
Without sun to give identity, clouds are black,
Lights fade in and out of existence. Unnatural. 

Paying premium to relatively teleport over the world
it still suffers beneath. 
It enters our eyes but elicits no thought. 

So we scramble to squeeze the sinking seconds
of Wi-Fi, invisible beams of indulgence.
We have begun our descent.


My back isn't straight anymore
it hasn't been since they talked to momma.
No other way for lulu to go
to school, it must be done.

My elephant knees are caked with copper dirt 
I forget my fingers.
They are stained with blood
but it is not my own.

Mr. Johnson says it is Christmas season in America
but it only gets hotter here.
If my basket is not full
neither is my belly.

momma touches the bruises but does not speak while lulu
sits at the table backpack on, buries beaded braids
in her arms like an ostrich.

“Gaze through Glass”

Blinding needle peak, argon beams
painted on like layer cake.

Lone-star glistens
hunched bodies bustle beneath
labyrinthine constructs of metal and light.

Evening indigo glides
infiltrating man’s machines
chokes on haze muting perception.

Linoleum floors wooden cabinets
sticky sap scent still lingers
papers adorn desks abreast paddles and balls.

Two brothers, four fish, and snails
seasonal loratadine. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Donald Gasperson -------- two poems

a lark's psalm

pray stay lady mary 
and say a sad mass 

hard's that raw fact 
a man falls splat jack 

as a bad man 
act that last gasp 

a fat cat's black math 
hard cash class 

what say that mad max 
bank that fast track 

craft a bad draft 
cash all that graft 

and that's tact 
'happy and all that'

as apt as art 

a lark's psalm 

windfall apples

a hard early frost
leaves rime in the coffee pot
so stir the fire up
enough to warm a cold cup
breakfast a windfall apple

about in that cold
the fields as raw as should be
the fences are down
under the bramble and fern
the wood coming back to true

awake and sleepless
the 'possum under the boards
likes good company
accepts a windfall apple
carefully eats in quiet

Monday, November 16, 2015

Magdalena Brzezińska ---------- poem

lema sabachthani

My Christ’s bedsores
are so deep
they can easily enfold my fist.
I have been looking for months
at my distorted face
reflected in the Siloam bottle of morphine
placed by his bed.
His cries,
doctors say,
are just the organism’s memory.

My Christ
only speaks to me
in parables
engraved in his purple veins.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Julie Dickson ----- three poems

Melt into Rhyme
When you allege an untruth,
attempt to drive a wedge -
I find it uncouth,
this type of descent
into the abyss of strife.
I would be remiss
if I failed to make good
or henceforth unveiled
the plans I understood
long ago we set forth.
We vowed to forego words,
allowed, written in pen -
at the time I was smitten,
unto you felt sublime,
caused me to melt into rhyme.
Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Traveling minstrel sets off on his way
walking from village to town he will play
upon his carved whistle or bow to his shoulder,
music conveyed from small stage or large boulder.
Hat set in place collecting donations,
plays well-known tunes or his own creations.
Some towns accepting, and some prone to dance
but wandering minstrels must all take a chance-
for serious folk might chase him away,
while welcoming kinsmen will ask him to stay.
His garb a soft tunic with felted green hat
Fiddle cuts silence in the key of e flat.
His welcome is worn, pockets weighed down with coin,
leaves town with his food stores, all bought or purloined.
If you see a minstrel who plays on the trail
you may hear a ballad or perhaps a tall tale,
for all through his travels, the roads left behind,
all music and stories are held in his mind.
He wanders - the minstrel to share what he hears
the music plays on, until he disappears.
Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

I may have held my breath
during a hot day in late August,
almost angry to see a red leaf so soon,
as if its mere presence shocked me,
the premonition mounting like a crescendo
The curtain of season-change drops,
warmth fading, seemingly in just one day –
caught, the red, a stray blown leaf,
lost, while others rejoice, sharing their brilliance.
Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Jo Balistreri ----- Three new poems

Walking with the Wild

As I make my way to ocean’s edge,
the sea raises its voice.
The wind puts its mouth to my ear.
Along the shore, a graveyard market
for vultures: snook, grouper, jack, jellies,
one immense loggerhead.
Gulls skirl, keening part of the salt-
stippled air. Against the jetty,
waves chew into stone.

To walk with the wild is to slough off
the tangle and puff—the week’s gabble
of words, political, honeyed words that slide
off the tongue—to dump the head rush
against groaning buoys, into the slash and slice
of tides. Here where words do not exist,
the mind stretches and swells,

surges with the billowing waves.

In late afternoon, a woman watches time move
through the landscape from her perch in the tree house.
A breeze swishes incantations among dappled leaves
            and stalks of goldenrod,
ferries the chit and chatter of squirrels across the pond.

            Songs of cardinals, grosbeaks, and a wood thrush
ring from the nearby woods. Finches at the feeder
            sing the melting color of butter.

In this liquid song, when day’s not quite night,
            when the earth is charged with presence,
the sun rests on treetops. A lone leaf spirals down.

            Blue shadows begin to creep across lawns,
amethyst crowns the tonsured hills in the distance.

            Everything quiets even the barking dog.                   
In this liminality of stretched borders,

in the rousing final movement of the sun’s syzygy
with the moon, something wondrous happens,

and the awe we never lost as children reappears,
elemental, inexhaustible.

Musing in the Tree House

To be where you are
To wait and watch
as a huge oak leaf
dives from the tree’s
highest branch
to a current that ferries it
to another shore  
where snagged
by the screen
the leaf tugs against wire mesh
loosens its tip
turns sideways
and falls to the sill
where autumn breath gives it wing
among murmuring leaves and 
dappled shadow
Where everything moves
like a Pollack painting
all is silent

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Two new poems from George Held


The photo shows me sitting in the old
Jewish cemetery behind my office

At Charles University, not far
From where gothic Charles Bridge

Crosses Vltava, on a sunny fall day,
And I am well aware about six layers

Of dead Jews are stacked below me
Because the Christian Czechs forbade

The burial ground from expanding
Beyond this space in the dense ghetto—keep

The Jews in their place—before they were rousted
And shipped to the extermination camps

By the Nazis under General Heydrich,
Who declared from his office in Prague Castle,

High above the other side of the river,
“We will Germanize the Czech vermin,”

Who had built this magnificent city
In concentric circles around Romanesque

Vyšehrad Castle, making it a living
Museum of European architecture.

A friend took this picture of New World me
Sitting in the heart of Old World Prague. 

Weather Alert

     “Thunderstorms have also been observed on Jupiter and Venus.”

Imagine that! Heavy weather
In the solar system but no
Busted umbrellas or downed trees,
No power outages on gleaming
Venus or giant Jupiter
With its Great Red Spot.

All the while, blue Earth
Rumbles and roars with thunder
And lightning, torrential rains,
Hail as big as golf balls,
And floods that would merrily
Float Noah’s boat away.

Yet the drought grows ever
More perilous in California
And the old Dust Bowl states,
Where there’s no water for irrigation,
Crops fail, food prices rise,
And the quest for oil and gas
Intensifies like that televised tornado
Bearing down on your lonesome house.

 George Held

Saturday, October 10, 2015

David Fewster ------ two poems


I remember Patrick McCabe,
Sort of a cross between Charles Baudelaire and
a young John Waters
(Bart Baxter called him “the mascara man”)
climbed the stage for his set at Red Sky Poetry Theatre.
Patrick’s oeuvre had one unifying theme—
The Poet Sorely Abused By Crass Society.
His piece this evening opened with the pronouncement
“Being a Poet is like
 Banging your head against a Brick Wall.”
Then he walked stage left and proceeded
to bang his head against Squid Row’s brick wall.
About a half-dozen times.
He finished the poem somewhat woozily
with a very red forehead.

And it was then I realized
that a literary vocation might be
More Strenuous than I had imagined.

(with a nod to Gregory Corso’s “Bomb”)

O Citizens United
Everyone hates you.
They say you are ugly
And Fascist.
They call you
And no one will dance with you.
They don’t understand
Your true nature.
One billion dollar the Koch Bros.
Promise to spend.
Where does this money go?
Advertising revenue for your local
TV, Radio & Newspaper outlets.
Print shops run by uncles and aunts
For flyers and posters.
Party supply stores for
Multi-colored balloons
And confetti.
Bakeries and donut shops
For delegate’s snacks.
And when corrupt scumbags
Skim and embezzle funds,
Who gets burned?
The Koch Brothers!
S’alright—they can afford it.
43 million for the Scott Walker campaign.
We have that money now.

They used to say that War
Was a good way to boost
The Economy.
Thanks to you, Citizens United,
We can change that.
And no one was ever napalmed
Mailing in a ballot.
Citizens United,

I love you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Apologies to Lorca -------- Koon Woon

Apologies to Lorca

I am in a city without time
Where food and sex are squeezed out of tubes.

The three friends ascend the green balustrade
To view the changeless sea from the balcony,
Concluding with infinite sadness
That beneath the green, green waters, fathoms
Deep, lie early sunken Greek ships with corroding

I am in a house without a number,
Where food and sleep come at unpredictable hours.

Maria hides behind the purple curtains
As the three friends descend the balustrade,
Talking of white horses with black manes
And comparing the saddle to the mantle piece.

By and by came Lorca himself speaking sadly to his friends:
“Mocitoes, if I can, this house is your house,
And your horse is my horse,
But I am no longer I and my house is no longer my house.”

The three friends bid the old man adios
And vanished in the Andalusian air.
It is said that sadly from Maria’s green, green eyes,
Silver tears began to flow
As the moon climbs further with the night.

I am in a city without a name, galloping
On a horse from the high mountain pass,
heading toward the water, where the silvery streaks
In the moonlight tell of countless sorrows
In a note in a bottle with the script of the Chinese Empress
That no one can read.
Finding the bottle and leaving it remaining on the beach,
The three friends gallop now to another city,
Another city without time,
As the waves undulant, undulant roll in.
Beneath these fathoms of green, green water,
Lie sunken ships with useless treasures.

Koon Woon

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Domingo Mendo -------- Three poems and translations by author

Feelings deep inside me

There is something I feel for her;

It is deep and warm and it floods my body and soul;

It keeps me afloat and threatens to drown me;

I cannot reach her but through words, thoughts and


It is very close and very far - I wished she would

quench my thirst, and still my hunger.

I wished I could feel her arms strong around my body.

I wished her eyes would burn in my eyes.

I wished our souls would merge in flesh and blood.

I wished, I wished, I wished she knew what I cannot

tell her.

Wenn die Deiche brechen

Wenn so viel Blut fließt, dass

die Deiche brechen.

Wenn so viel Blut fließt, dass

unsere Gemeinplätze ihre Vernunft „abbrennen“.

Wenn Wort und Schrift es nicht

mehr fassen und „Soll, Muss

und Hätte“ eitel werden.

Wenn Blut dann doch noch wallt;

und Menschen kommen. Können wir

uns dann versperren? Wenn Auge

und Auge sich treffen, wollen wir

uns abwenden? Ist dies alles

noch fassbar: Ist Reichtum nicht

Totschlag, wenn andere verbluten?

Ist Reichtum nicht Selbst-
mord, wen andere ver-

Wenn es so wild klopft, dass

Deiche brechen.

Wenn Zäune und Mauern

zerbröseln, da die Leere der

Mägen und Verzweiflung

der Herzen sie zerreißt.

Wenn all dies so ist,

dann ist es Zeit, auch die

Deiche in UNS zu brechen.

(English translation by author)

When dikes are breaking

When streams of blood become so powerful that 

dikes break.

When streams of blood become so powerful that 

our common places “burn” their common sense.

When it is beyond the grasp of word and writing 

and “should, must and might” become futile.

When blood is, nonetheless, still boiling and men, 

women and children start pouring in. Can we 

then bar all the doors? When our eyes meet, are 

we going to turn our backs on them? Can all this 

be grasped: Isn’t richness murderous when 

others bleed to death? Isn’t richness suicidal 

when others die of hunger?

When they come knocking on the door so 

strongly that dikes break.

When fences and walls start crumbling because 

empty bellies and desperate hearts tear them 


When all this is true then it is time to break the 

dikes within YOU AND ME. 

Ein Che Guevara in Filzpantoffeln

A Che Guevara in felt slippers

Abends bin ich ein Che Guevara in Filzpantoffeln;

In the evening, I am a Che Guevara in felt slippers;

Ideen rauschen durch meinen Kopf und schwitzen sich in meinen

Filzpantoffeln aus;

Ideas swirling through my head and turning into sweat in my felt slippers;

Der Kopf wird kalt

und die Filzpantoffeln erwärmen meine Füße;

My head goes cold

and the felt slippers warm up my feet;

Der Kopf muss dann wild geschüttelt werden; wild

wie der Che Guevara; doch meine Filzpantoffeln schütteln alles ab; alles aus

meinen Filzpantoffeln.

Then I have to shake my head wildly; as wild as the

Che Guevara; however, my felt slippers shake everything off and everything out of

my felt slippers.

Ein toter Che Guevara

in lebenden Filzpantoffeln.

So untot ist der Filz.

A dead Che Guevara

in living felt slippers.

So undead is felt.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Myungsoon Kim -------- poem

The way I love you
                    by Angela

Sometimes my bowl is too big
your love cannot fill it
Sometimes my bowl is too small
your love fills it and overflows
When my heart is filled with greed and egoism
No room is left for your love
If I let them go, could it fit
If I empty all of them, could it be enough
The sky is high
The flowers are so beautiful
I learn how to live and love from nature
Just flowing clouds, river and wind
My bowl is getting as clear and as pure
as your endless love

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Norm Davis -------- Five Poems


white lady
walking her white dog
black crow
beak full of something
stolen from garbage
both headed for home...

To Alan Catlin

Some poets don't have any message.
They don't have anything to say.
Their task is to say it with beauty...
and with feeling.

Fort Dix

Stationed at Fort Dix, my
father, on the way to France,
in World War One...
although they didn't call it that.
I mean they didn't call it World
               War One.
We called it World War One in
later years, and we also called
Fort Dix the Spinal Meningitis
Capitol of the world.
Dad got spinal meningitis there,
and so did Jack Kelsey.
Dad didn't make it to France.
And Jack didn't make back to
Insects, two... Wellsville zero.
An Irish, and a Taff.
Mosquitoes had the last laugh.


Dad was stationed at Carlisle,
the Indian school, in 1919.
He was a medic.  He went home
on a 72 hour pass, and when he
returned, half the base was down
with Spanish Influenza, so
naturally he got it.
Spanish Influenza did not have
anything to do with Spain.
It was just that Spain was a
neutral nation, and their news-
papers published the figures.
The warring nations had to keep
the figures secret...not let the
enemy know your losses.
By not sharing information, by
lack of cooperation, losses were
by far increased.  Death rode
It raged around the world.  One
of the greatest epidemics ever
It shouldn't have been called
the Spanish Influenza.
It should have been called The
Influenza That Wiped Out Millions
and That We Were Too Damn
Dumb To Do Anything About.

When You Come Home

When you come back,
nothing around you is real.
Sitting in The Modern Diner,
or The Texas Hot, the library,
the kitchen table at home.
The film just rolls along as
usual, like it's always done.
Nothing is out of place.  But
you're out on the flight line
with Irving, or launching your
BST with Shoemaker,  out of
the motor pool.
Jay is telling a joke, "Go back,
go back, there are two of them!"
They are having a Coke, down
in the Biltmore.  The girls are
laughing a lot.
You're turning into Area 12.
Maybe a war has started this
morning, and this is the real thing.
One can't tell the difference, and
nobody wants you to.  Your
behavior is the same, whether
it's yes or no.  Everyone hates
the Russians, even the little ones,
the children.  Communists are
like the weather.  Everyone com-
plains about them, but nobody
              does anything.
You are doing something, here at
Area 12,  picking up a unit, 4.5
megatons of radioactive TNT.
The sports fans on TV are talking
about Bobby Layne.  His injured
thumb looks like a peach pit, but
he's gonna play.  Tough guy.
Choir practice tomorrow.  Tour
starts in only two weeks.  Here
we are practicing World War III
devotedly, protecting the Sinclair
refinery at home, Philco assembly
line in Batavia, that plant in
Lockport, the father of Tim McVeigh.
Fisher Price, Kodak, French's, Stromburg-Carlson, the whole damn
               Rust Belt.
It doesn't seem real, sitting here
in the diner, hearing the laughter,
the talk.  I should be driving out
to the flight line, getting ready
                to kill.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Poems ------- Lisa MN Yoon Les (South Korea)

Two Poems ----- Lisa MN Yoon Les (South Korea)

The Glory of Walking                            
-The Glorious moment I met Walking by H.D.Thoreau

You entered the dark forest that is my mind
At dusk, gleaming

You stepped into the gloomy jungle that is my heart
Shining, fending off shadows

You came into the grizzly cottage that is my soul
Glowing, rounding the curves

You soothed my torn, cracked heart
Glittering, dazzling as the play of my bracelet

You amble and saunter,
Bringing brilliance into my shed

You are freedom and the unfettered wildness

That at once is also civilization’s peak.

Idol Star-smtm4
-Following We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

Thee aspire inspire. Thee
Hip-hop K-Pop. Thee

Respect suspect. Thee
Cynical critical. Thee

Mask-on & off. Thee
Rapping choking. Thee

 Cracked Ordinary. Thee 
Oh Offnary Off

l  smtm4(Show Me the Money-Season4): It is a rap audition program on cable channel. There were so many young people who tried to be idol stars through the show. I had watched the show several times and felt sort of pity for the craze of the show and this poem is about the youngsters who wanted to be the rap idol stars but seemed to get stolen their normal daily life.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

She Thought ------ poem by Koon Woon

She thought

She thought maybe she could love me
But she was caught between comfort and chaos

She thought she could have it and eat it
In both ways she could affirm and also assimilate

But the upshot was not what it seemed to be
The invisible constraints keep one in place

She couldn’t decide to be Alice or to be the Queen

But no matter, the importance of it all unraveled at the seams.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Julie A. Dickson -------- three poems

Moose  [A True account]

Standing still three feet deep,
with river at low tide,
head dipped as he ripped
weeds, and then he chewed.
The town from each bank
viewed an unusual beast
enjoying his feast from the river.
But then they came along,
those from Fish and Game,
we all nodded and agreed
our young moose bore no blame.
He [the moose] was made to go,
tranquilized without much bellow,
taken far up north to graze,
hoisted, as we pondered
it this the best way to raise a moose?

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH



The outline of an older man
shadows across a chalky sidewalk.
A young boy stands atop the shadow,
looking up, his small fingers clasped firmly
but softly held in the age-mottled hand
of his white-haired grandfather.
They cross the street hand-in-hand
on their special weekly excursion,
the boy brightening when approaching
their favorite ice cream shop.
Grandfather always orders a Spanish sundae,
enjoying each salty red-skinned peanut;
in contrast to the boy’s pink-hued
strawberry shortcake, mounded whipped cream
and a cherry, saved until the last.
The boy savors each bite in
the shadow of an older man.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


Misalona Smile     [Anagram – Mona Lisa]

Misalona, a solitary jewel -
uncut stone, in precious diamond dark.
Possesses a deep tonal fortitude;
inside her dwells a well-hidden spark.
At times her dark brown eyes have glittered
with vast propensity of visions viewed,
her solemnity seems almost stoic,
although she’s quite resolved in attitude.
Watches from a wide- angle stance,
witnessed images seen as phrases;
words structured into free verse and prose,
compiled silent questions she raises.
When he enters her field of vision
Exquisite jeweled clarity does release;
somehow scene changes to fill her void
Misalona smile exemplifies her inner peace.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH