Monday, September 22, 2014

Janne Karlsson- Cartoon

                                                     Some Say Death

Janne Karlsson (1973) is a Swedish artist. When he´s not busy drawing, he´s suffering from nicotine withdrawal. If you wanna make him happy, buy his fucking books at and if you wanna love him looong time, visit his sorry ass at

B.Z. Niditch- Two Poems


Art postcards added
in a sliding trunk
moves the Bacon
and Mexico's Orozco,
toward my hands
as summer goes brown
taking my weekend leave
for a modernist retrospective
now held in New York,
an artist up the walk
took me for a four hour
tour of palpable art,
bringing the Big Apple
back to me
through slides,audio
in a visual perspective
launching me
in memory of Village Days 
of O'Hara and Rivers,
along Saturday traffic jams
with my sax kept
on my lap in taxis
my poems in parcels
drifting off in my one acts
off off Broadway
thinking there is
no mortality in art
feeling again free and young
resurrected with a breath
of ideas and idealism
encircling with my suitcases
full of pawned rhythm
and a smooth jazzy time
weeping on a tree
in Central Park
where I played kick ball.


Hiding in the Big Apple under
the rainy windshield wipers
in 1999 as a century changes
here in a taxi 
waiting for another sax player
its time for my jazz space
to expand
playing riff's new revels
as the door is ajar
we traffic jam
going to my gig
rawboned until midnight
striking the blues
and bathed by song.

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


Her eyes
and the lake
are his memories,
cobalt images of clarity
and purity, running deep.
It was in this cove
where the black spotted loon
dove head first
into the heart of blue,
attracting the tender pulse
of her affection
inciting her
to follow the creature
into the watery sweep
tangled with milfoil
that snarled her hair
while the checkered fowl
dutifully hunted
for its young.
Her blue eyes wide,
blended eventually
with the ripple of current
that swept beneath the surface.
He visited that cove often,
especially those days
where the sun’s gleam
highlighted the blue ghost
within the restless ripples
that will forever
wrap him in riddles.

He stood in front of the headstone
marking his father’s grave
under a maple tree
that shaded the parcel
reserved for his mother.
“I found that twenty
you sent me,” he whispered,
“found it in the leaves
next to the curb during my run
the day after
we moved you here.
I asked for a sign
and you thought of
dropping a twenty on me.
I knew it was yours,
all the serial numbers
matched your birth and departure date,
never mind the letters, all T, S, & K.
Money is what drove you,
but at least, this time, you answered.“
He concluded the one-sided conversation,
hoping for another sign,
but all that followed
was a long silence,
one that encompassed all the gravestones
and the rows of dead they marked.
He kneeled, got closer to the granite slab,
pressed an ear against it
as if to block the deafening quiet
that enveloped his surroundings.
Still nothing, cemetery silence,
the most disarming silence of all,
so silent, he could hear the still air breathe.


Trapped below deck and under the sea,
turbulent waves overwhelm
his minute navigational craft,
settling in translucent blueness.
Inches away, the V-shaped bow
separates the cuddy
from the crush of tidal rush
and salt water foam.
He laments in loneliness,
aches for warmth and contact
while his lips blister
and cannibalistic enzymes
induce hunger, preventing sleep.
Hours pass,
the sea plays hide and seek,
a deadly game, he fears,
that nears conclusion.
A vague reality engulfs
his famished brain,
silently screaming
to escape this nightmarish voyage
and once again,
feel the solidity of earth.
But the ocean toss
slowly dilutes his sensibility
and again he relinquishes
to the rhapsodic flow
which has foiled
this voluntary exile for solitude
and the ability to contemplate
without diversion.
Marooned in this casket cabin
without friend, foe or folly,
he dreads expiration
without notice to the salty torrents
of sun drenched froth
and realizes in haste
the deadly nature of perfection and seclusion.

Craig Stormont- A Poem

A Bear (for Natalia, who doesn’t believe it)

rolling out of the Smokey Mountains
into Gatlinburg, TN
great commotion ensued
sitting at a red light
a large black bear ran across
the front yard
of some people having a barbecue on
the left
I told the driver to
run the light and make a u-turn
I jumped out of the car
and the bear stood there
10 feet away
people were screaming
hiding in their vehicles
running away
I walked toward the bear
his eyes met mine
sublime communication
7 seconds later
he ran
into the mountains
I felt fine
a rush
the right kind
glad I met that bear

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Another Sunrise in His Day

Will I walk again,
Tillie mumbled,
lost in the fog of  

her knee operation.
The surgeon predicted 
she'd toss her cane away 

in two months.
Still in a fog, she asked 
if she'd walk the way

she walked before, 
with the same locomotion, 
as her husband called it, 

a walk he studied
through binoculars  
behind lace curtains

from the upstairs window
sitting in his wheelchair
as she strolled through 

the garden, picking a 
bouquet, creating another 
sunrise in his day.

A Grand Buffet

Maury's wife frets 
about growing old
withering up 

and sagging so 
it's up to Maury
to let her know 

every day she's 
a grand buffet
that he can't wait 

to see and sample.
Her appetizers are 
enticing, entrees 

perfectly prepared.
At his age though,
Maury has to pause.

He knows now
this will mean 
long nap later.

A Senior Citizen's First Email

Things are quiet here, a friend writes
in the first email of his long life:  

Most mornings I drive to Gillson Park,
sit and read beside the Lake.
The waves are a symphony.
Books are better there. Sometimes 
a redwing blackbird will attack, 
protecting its nest. The weather's  
cool and there's rain at night. 
It's not summer in Chicago 
as you and I remember it.

I have a cell phone now too 
and I use it all the time. 
The landline's just a holdover 
from the good old days.

Speaking of holdovers,
we should get together
while we still can.
At our age, who knows
how long either of us has.
People our age drop dead 
without too much ado.

Tell you what: Whoever gets sick first 
will notify the other one who'll take
a plane and race death to see 
who arrives at the bedside first.
If I'm talking to a priest, wait outside.

Forget the small stuff like amputations.
They have prosthetics now for everything 
except for tallywhackers.
Who needs more kids anyway. 
My wife will send you an email if I die. 
Ask your wife to do the same for me.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tom Zimmerman- Two Poems

Private Hymn

At times when heart is dark and mind is dim,
I think of what I lust for, write it as
I must. Barbaric yawp, a private hymn
to measured madness, yin as black as jazz
that wraps its tendrils tight around a qualm
to crush it and release its pent-up yang.
I drink a red with legs, the music calm
but pregnant with a monstrous sturm und drang.

The animality I crave will rise
from pools and caverns deep, be brimmed with wild
surmise, with belly wisdom, feral cries
that crack the dome of heaven, freeing mild
and sexless seraphim whose appetites
catch fire as they descend from frigid heights.

Prince George Hotel Blues, Halifax

The TV news: a power plant’s destroyed,
a kidnapper’s been killed, the hostage safe.
The telephone sits silent, ruin void
of visitors. My shirt and lanyard chafe
my sunburned arms and neck. Those garden beers
were worth the pain: an IPA, a strong
brown ale. And then we walked along the piers,
the harbor boozy blue, each noisy throng
of tourists buying, grazing, gaping—just
like us. Right now, the sun is swording through
the drapes. The king-size bed’s a mess—it must
be love. And now you’ve left me: “Got to do
my hair and put my face on straight.” Who says?
We’ll both be back to work in seven days.

Brief bio:
Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits two literary magazines at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His chapbook In Stereo: Thirteen Sonnets and Some Fire Music appeared from The Camel Saloon Books on Blog in 2012. Tom's website:

Richard Schnap- A Poem


He passed by the hotel
That had once been a phone room
Where he slaved for three years

And the tattoo parlor
Where he once had an art show
That nobody came to

And the Italian restaurant
That used to be a nightclub
Where he met his ex-wife

And the silent cemetery
Where a place by his parents
Was waiting for him

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

It isn't War

when war isn't war,
no boots on the ground,
no victories to achieve,
only doubt and indecision,
by watching the polls,
and handing out weapons like candy on Halloween.

Poem 63

in the nooks and crannies of the net,
they wait in the darkness,
monsters too terrible to image,
lurking and preying on the unaware,
and the lonely,
spiders of the web.
The Cottonwood

breezes blow through the cottonwood tree,
so out of place,
and all alone,
its broad leafs dancing in the wind,
while memories dance in my mind,
a place the cottonwood,
a common tree,
found in almost every yard,
towering into the prairie skies,
attempting to touch the sun.

David Subacchi- Three Poems


Never point a gun at anyone
Said my grandfather
As I played in the sun
Taking my cowboy’s hand
To make me understand
Lowering my aim
With the tip of his thumb
Never point a gun at anyone

Never point a gun at anyone
Even if it’s not
A real one
Although it may be a toy
And you are just a boy
This is not something
That should be done
Never point a gun at anyone

Never point a gun at anyone
Loaded or unloaded
Or just in fun
Unless you’re on the battlefield
And the enemy will not yield
Or your life is in danger
And you can’t run
Never point a gun at anyone.


Another Titanic poem
what more is there to say?
a century of story telling
myth piling upon myth
avoiding the truth of
our foolish arrogance
sentimental legends
highlighted by Hollywood
drama failing to hide
the unexciting reality

Deep below the waves
an iron coffin lies
one more encrusted
reminder of human fragility.


Sandstone wind worn
Rinsed by rainfall
Stone of church
Oxford College
Victorian railway station
Hues of brown
Holding moisture
Surfaces rough
Sometimes smooth
Crumbling, stained
Scarred by holes
From long removed
Bolts and hinges
Sandstone arches
Slate topped roofs
Lead gutters
Down pipes
Gravelled yards
Uncut lawns

Sandstone a litany
Of history
Most photographed
Each block
Each corner
Each pillar
Each wall
Has seen
It all.

David Subacchi lives in Wales UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He writes in both English and Welsh and performs his work regularly.

Cestrian Press has published two collections of his poems. ‘First Cut’ (2012) and ‘Hiding in Shadows’ (2014).  You can find more examples of his work simply by searching on line for DAVID SUBACCHI.

Bill Barone- Three Poems

Holy Thursday in Hell
For souls who have not done their duty,
the onset of spring
is particularly galling.
Then comes the choice
that should be easy but never is:
Now or Eternity?
I am sitting on the couch
at the end
of the afternoon
head in hands                                                                            
heart pounding blood to eyes.                  
The latest supper is on the stove,
but who is there to eat it?
Anything is better
than to spend another hour
doing this.
The heart runs wild.
Good God,
you should know.
Whatever the choice,                                                                            
it is bound to end badly.
Lord, hear my cry.
If you know me,
say my name.                                                          

One Hundred Afternoons
Flat beer in a tall glass,
warm gin in a coffee cup.
Something's not right.

Cigar smoke haunts the airwaves
where my best friend and used car dealer
is steaming in hot summer blowouts.
I burn these hours like lambs,
but the ashtray's not full.

I could shoot cool glances
through the brown leaves of the rhododendron
at cars with bad mufflers or taste in music,
or pull another jigger of sweat
with a napkin from my eyebrow
but don’t bother.
The white sun bleaches leaves,
sucks stalks and limps roots.
I don't care.
I can wait.

When rain falls
it does its work


All Hallow’s Eve
Autumn’s brilliance died days ago
and now lies rotting on the hard bones
of gasping October.
The flat moon hangs in the dead sky,
a mockery of lovers offering the wasted light
of a derelict night.
It is a senseless journey
to feel the cold black mud
suck at your feet
and drag you back
and beckon you in
so that each labored step feels like your last.
A vagrant dog howls
submission to a hollow moon and
the cold breeze escapes
another deflated soul.
The air sinks heavy with fragile wisps,
hauntingly absent,
yet seeming to sway behind each dying weed,
shiver below each molding leaf,
scatter like spiders beneath your soles
to hint of Death’s secret touch.
Hot breath cannot pierce the dark,
but only steam and rise upward
to be swallowed by the gray skull of moon
that bores its hungry eyes downward
and grinds its crusting teeth
and cracks its ragged jaw in warning:
“Die now!
Prepare yourselves for morning.”
Bill Barone earned his B.A. in English from Penn State and his M.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. He has taught at several colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Ohio and is currently teaching English courses online. His poems have appeared in a number of publications, most recently in Dark Matter Journal. He lives in suburban Cleveland with his wife.