poetry

Poppies

Robert Carr

I think
they’re supposed to be
opium
poppies

but the
abstract art in Dermatology
looks
like an angry cluster

of
pimples. I’ve stopped picking
the basal
cells beneath

my
wide-rimmed garden hat, the long
white
sleeves of my shirt.

There’s a
little boy with mom
and a bad
sunburn beside me.

He’s
playing with a rubber shark
that
swallows his pinky finger.

I’m
watching his tiny digits walk
across
the cushion toward – What

do you
think they’ll remove today?
The
poppies blister in anticipation.


Robert Carr is the author of Amaranth, a chapbook published in 2016 by
Indolent Books. His poems are published in Radius Journal, Pretty Owl
Poetry, White Stag Journal, The Pickled Body, The Good Men Project, Dark
Matter Journal, Canary Literary Magazine, and numerous other
publications. His published work can be found at robertcarr.org

image

– Nicholas B. Adell

I found one of your ribbons on the floor
tonight—
a pastel, faded purple.
It reminded me of your hair—
violent strands swaying in autumn air.

Don’t open the door Delores,
I liked you the way you were.


 
Nicholas B. Adell is an attorney in Chicago.

Parched At The Wellspring

Bruce McRae

I’m looking for a door or a
perfect sentence,

for a button dropped, a rose in
the loam,

for the source of a spring named
Sweetwater.

This is me peddling, like a bug
on its back.

I’ve drawn a circle around the
wide unknown,

a student paying homage to his
non-comprehension.

A fountain pen, if not the
inkwell.

It’s a warm night, unnecessarily
so.

The Ancient Watchmaker claims
it’s midnight.

This is Nowhere, and there’s no
reason to be here.

Sleepwalkers in the afternoon, we
require reason.

We crease easily. Our hands are
folded.

This is me in a hayfield, chewing
a straw stalk,

gnawing on the sublimely
ridiculous,

another inbred clodhopper, the
King of Mutton.

A letter arrives. And like it, we
are torn open.

For a while we read by an ancient
light,

a link among the unexceptional
billions.

An extra comma in the illegible
prose.


Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over

a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as
Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now,
‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing
Crow Press. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s
BruceMcRaePoetry

So Blessed

Bruce McRae

Under a moon like a bucket kicked
over.

Under the strangled stars and
night’s insults.

In a cinema of abstractions

is a comedian reaching for his
glasses,

reaching across the room’s small
universe,

reaching for the untouchable
word,

a word infused with magic and
fractions,

that triggers other words, that
dances its dance.

A comedian for all times, and for
none.

Who floats an inch above the
common earth.

Jester in the palace of nouns.

Joker in a shuffled pack.

A blade of multi-coloured grass

pushed around by the world’s thin
winds,

climbing the sleep-besotted
mountains.

A bee, the comedian produces
honey.

A vulture, it’s circling above
its task.

The comedian is a metaphor, or
meteor,

the known world a game we can
play –

as if an oral cyst the tongue
can’t ignore.

The comedian, set upon by demons
and sea-lice,

has a mouth full of crackers.

He’s in a room the colour of old
money.

In a dirt house, wearing tiger
skin pyjamas.

He of the tantric signature,

who juggles pencils and mice,

his jokes like a bad cheque or a
cough.

We’re in the hour of red,

and he’s the one reaching over
the table’s void

for a mug of incense, for green
bread,

grasping the inkstone of evening.

The comedian is the one so
blessed,

the one who is two, and then
three.

He’s the fool pulling on dusk’s
velvet cord,

a babe abandoned in the
wilderness,

brought up as a slave in a royal
household,

carrying his master’s slippers,

a eunuch in the service of
princesses,

girls in long gold braids,

girls adorned, asleep in their
tight dresses,

girls the morning announces

to the braying crowds, the
comedian

reaching for his comely cup,

clutching jagged angles,

stumbling while holding on to the
walls,

the butterfly in his blue palm

a bug of unusual beauty.

 

The comedian as giant

reaching down low to move a
chair,

drawing the age-old curtains
closed,

pursuing the millimeter,
traveling sand to sand

on a lark-filled escapade, on a
journey,

a jaunt from this place into
another

and hoisting his audience of one
along,

spinning a line in dream-vague
entertainment.

Laughing at his own bespoken joke

and even he doesn’t get it.



Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over

a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as
Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now,
‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing
Crow Press. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s
BruceMcRaePoetry

The
Method

 – Cheyenne Marco

1.
Ask a
question.
The one
I won’t bother to answer
with a
human tongue.

Words I
will not speak.

2.
Learn
the language of dandelions
peering
through sidewalk cracks.
Flowers
with a concrete vase.

3.
I
believe they survive
for
children to find
and
learn what isn’t a flower.

4.
No one
plants them in gardens.

5.
Yes.
No.
Repeat.

6.
Survival
is an act of stubbornness,
uncultivated
yellow on carpets of perfect green.

7.
Know
this of me.
Let it
shatter into a hundred tufts of dander
and fly
away on a gentle breeze.


Cheyenne
Marco grew up on a Minnesota poultry farm and finds inspiration for her writing
in her rural upbringing. She teaches at USD, works on the South Dakota Review,
does outreach for Friends of the Big Sioux River, and fantasizes about sleep.
Her works have appeared in Lake Region Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Prairie
Winds.

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Amendments

Cheyenne Marco

First
Speak
to me
in the
dialect of fire devouring copper.

Second
Take up
your weapons,
like
wasps.
Hide
them beneath my own skin.
Do not
surrender.

Third
Close
your arteries, your veins.
Tell me
how you will house a thousand pebbles
but
reject the stone.

You
will not shelter me from sand in the wind.

Fourth
Tell me
not to look for the unnecessary.

Hide
your concessions in a spider’s web,
knowing
I will never be able to seize
our
connection in the white maze.

Fifth
Wrap
yourself in leaves and twigs,
and
listen to the spinning of the earth,
as you
revel in the sorrys not sworn.

You
will never say them.

Sixth
You
will run as the prey though you may be the beast.

Hurry
through my pleas for water by the fireside.
I won’t
repeat them.
Prey
does not dwell at the site of a predator’s feast.

Seventh
I will
judge you,
as I
taste the individual raindrops that make up the lake.

Eighth
Value
yourself before the pride.
You
will be held for your worth,
but
remember
the
lioness does all of the hunting.

Ninth
Live in
the highest tree tops
and
enjoy the limited reign of our domain.
Remember
that your wing may break.

You
have the right to shatter.

Tenth
The
Word is yours,

and you
will

whisper
it
and
warp it

but it
will be mine.


Cheyenne
Marco grew up on a Minnesota poultry farm and finds inspiration for her writing
in her rural upbringing. She teaches at USD, works on the South Dakota Review,
does outreach for Friends of the Big Sioux River, and fantasizes about sleep.
Her works have appeared in Lake Region Review, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Prairie
Winds.

image

musical harm

– Jake Tringali

some
drunk stupid
bruiser
bumps viv, a
boston
banshee,
she
enters the mosh
legs
knee
high,
moonstomping
past
the
dank
bar and its
PBRs
fleeing her
personal
ghosts

the pit
dwellers come
near
and a geared
neanderthal
kicks her
shin
fishnets
and
blood no
protection
no
guardian
angel

we
share songs with friends

caught
between
the pit
and the
stage
crushed in the human
press
viv
gasps
for hot
breath her
sweat
her head swivels
her
hair cascades
whipping
through
the pit

elbowed
to
the
head
headed
to the
front stage
bruised
and
bewildered
briefly
sees
a
familiar drunken grin

when
humans get
bits
of
cellular debris in
their
eyes they
sometimes
see
phantom
spots

the
stage lights flicker viv
blinks
when a
stagediver vaults
onto
the top of her head
her
neck compresses
painfully
sees
that grin again
goofy
and
lit
all too
briefly

she
hugs the
stacked
amplifiers
turns
her stomach
to
jelly
her
spine cracking to the
bass
beat
she
wants the music to
hug
back and it kinda
does

the
band’s front
man
reaches down he
hands
her the
mic she
screams,
a
keening cry
her
vivid memory
of a
friend
grabbing
the
mic
with her
her
vivid memory
disappears

we
share
songs
with
friends we
remember
songs like we
remember
friends


Jake Tringali was born in
Boston.  He lived up and down the East
Coast, and then up and down the West Coast, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He runs rad restaurants.  He thrives in a habitat of bars, punk rock
shows, and a sprinkling of burlesque performers. Throughout
2015, his publications include Catch & Release, Boston Poetry Magazine, Indiana
Voice Journal, and twelve other fine journals.

The Moon Doesn’t Like Us Anymore

Kenneth Pobo

If it were
up to me,
I’d drop you
down a well.
I’d do it
easily,

turn a tide,
make strong tea.
You’ll be
happy in hell—
if it were
up to me.

For my serenity,
I’d risk a
demon’s cell,
I’d do it
easily,

to squish
you like a flea.
You’re a
rotten egg smell.
If it were
up to me,

I’d cut you
down, a tree
that wept
before it fell.
I’d do it
easily

without any
worry.
You’ve no
more lies to tell.
If it were
up to me,
I’d do it
easily.



Kenneth Pobo had three new books in 2015: When The Light Turns Green
(Spruce Alley Press), Bend of Quiet (Blue Light Press), and Booking
Rooms in the Kuiper Belt (Urban Farmhouse Press).  He teaches creative
writing and English at Widener University.  He gardens, is somewhat of
an authority on Tommy James and the Shondells, and plans to read Hardy’s
Return of the Native this June.