Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gene McCormick- Poem & Art

Venetian Blinds

Flimsy metal Venetian blind strips
can be grabbed and pulled down,
or apart, to see outside without using
the drawstring to properly open the blinds,
rash action not possible when they are                 
made of sturdy wooden slats.

Oak-stained wooden slats added panache
to Frank Capra’s luxury cottage suite
in Napa Valley where the writer-producer-director,
an Academy Award-winner when
many movies were black and white,
locked himself in seclusion to finish
the script for It’s A Wonderful Life.

Late afternoon California sun through
the open-slatted Venetian blinds in the
resort cottage creates a noir pattern
of black and white strips along the floor,
bending up the side wall
in the nook area at the rear
of the resort cottage.
Not a grid; parallel lines.

A person could spend hours opening
and closing the Venetian blinds
just to hear them clack.

Sturdy well-engineered and designed 
oak-stained Venetian blinds are made
of the finest materials and such repeated
use won’t damage them.

It’s A Wonderful Life was nominated for
five Academy Awards. It won one.

Brief Bio: Gene McCormick likes to look through
other people’s Venetian blinds.

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Natural Selection

I don’t think
I was ever on an
actual date until
I was 25.
Even in high school
we did the natural
selection thing:
craft beers, home
grown and let nature
take its course.
Someone was always
the last one left but
they were rarely
left out completely.
It was all very basic,
maybe even crude
but it worked.
When someone
actually asked me out,
I didn’t know what
to do. It was kind
of a revelation;
“So this is what
dating is all about!”
I kind of liked it.
Even thought I’d try
it again some time.
Like when I was 40.

                                                1 Y

                                                He said
                                                he had a
                                                metal plate in
                                                his head
                                                of the V- Et- Kong
                                                and was damn
                                                proud of it
                                                Hated long
                                                haired Commie
                                                weirdos who beat
                                                the draft and went
                                                to places like
                                                college and didn't
                                                care who knew it!
                                                Thought I looked
                                                like one of those
                                                shifty types
                                                he didn't like
                                                I said I was
                                                one of those 1 Y
                                                crazies "A classic
                                                unstable personality"
                                                The Doctor had said
                                                Bad chemicals  I said
                                                They could go off
                                                any minute so don't
                                                mess with my head
                                                Which was Ok fine
                                                with him  He'd seen
                                                a lot of crazies
                                                during the war and
                                                he knew the terrible
                                                kinds of things
                                                they could do

                                                Self Portrait

                                                "You still look
                                                like a kid"
                                                He said
                                                "I've known you
                                                ten years and you
                                                haven't aged a day
                                                I ought to be
                                                ashamed of how
                                                much older I look
                                                while you just
                                                stay the same"
                                                I said
                                                "I'm the picture
                                                of Dorian Gray
                                                Inside I'm
                                                corroding  eaten
                                                up by whiskey
                                                and disease
                                                One of these days
                                                like Bowie in
                                                The Hunger you
                                                can watch me age
                                                a hundred years
                                                inside of five
                                                He laughed
                                                I guess he thought
                                                I was kidding

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

A New Etiquette

"One stall for all" is
a new scenario for Wilbur.
Thanks to his wife, he knew

in the past the right thing to do
but now he doesn't know what
"one stall for all” calls for 

after he’s through:
Is it toilet seat up
or toilet seat down?

Daily Paper on the Lawn

An hour before dawn
the paper is out on the lawn
white in the moonlight 

a trumpet dozing after 
long night in a jazz bar 
tired from playing   

but willing to play
a last set for me
not knowing I read    

only sports and the obits 
two riffs in the paper
anyone can believe

A Trip to the City

He lives at the edge of a forest
and loves all the different trees. 
He comes to the city for food 
and basic necessities.
He hates the long drive,
the city even more.

On this trip he crosses 
the street to avoid a huddle
of homeless men gathered  
around parking meters.

Safe on the other side
he asks himself 
do I worry too much
about trees, too little about 
people too hungry 
too poor to hug them.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bradley Williams- A Cartoon

John Pursch- A Poem

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in many literary journals. His first book, Intunesia, is available at Check out his experimental lit-rap video at He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

A Passing Tram

Even though the sound of a latchkey child fills the city with want, even though a drink of cold water quenches the need of an epiglottal stoplight, even though a busybody persists in the circumstantial release from bondage of many a chosen warrior; the appropriate may never escape the opprobrium of a broomstick, regardless of the efficacy of action taken freely, in purely spontaneous charity. Such is the often perplexing effect of the world’s balance of events in apparent randomness. Probably turns to certainty only in the wake of now. We may wonder why it must be so, why there cannot be another way, relief from wayward verbiage, conceptual couth, illegitimate onslaught, literality, bogus abstinence, vowels out of whack, formal fall from grace to gratitude to gravitational collapse. Finally, the door is closed, as if by accident, but actually by inevitability, and we are relieved, found by relief, maybe even in bas relief of the source of all that is, imprinted on each passing moment, each commitment of fact. A wayward wanderer straggles by, plunges into the evening heat, leaving us to struggle to our feet. Even so, the voices murmur on, passing through chambers of appointed rounds, dimming lights, emphatically living in counterpoint of prevailing silence.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry & worked with Arts
Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she
was born in North Queensland, Australia.
How to address the hollowness
That looks out
From an old friend’s eyes?
Much is demanded of the observer
- Far more than the one
Salvaging the desire.
Affiliations are catching. Just search
Your pockets; you’ll find
But – there’ll be no fire!
Most of us are in this state
Of rehabilitation, constantly
Meeting another’s danse macabre...
People of the earth – there is
A conspiracy to keep us
Leaning away from ourselves:
Believe in the universal petition. Learn
To look into a cripple’s eyes
And say... I know you!
(‘The Branch’ appears in “First Refuge” Poems
on Social Justice Anthology, Ginninderra Press)

Charles Rammelkamp- A Photo

                            "These feet were made for dancing!"

Ryan Hardgrove- A Poem

Answers out there!

and the rains
coming down
like nails on the street
and I’m reaching out
into it
the loud shards of blankness
cutting through the air
rushing to the earth
while somehow floating

hoping something out there
can save all this
save this
constant cycle
the fucking stream
so as not to
repeat every shit mistake
for eternity

but the answers
are never out there
they live someplace closer

they live one place only
deep within us
past all the deception
we are cursed to carry
past the poisonous ego
and the confusion
of self love
and self hate

to search
without first
seeking inward
is the first step
towards completely
deluding yourself

Steven Storrie- A Poem


I didn’t think you’d heard me
I didn’t think you would do that
Don’t you feel we sometimes
Think more of people
Than maybe we probably should?

The small red digits
On the alarm clock say 3am
But I know that can’t be true
If it was you would be lying here
Next to me
Or I’d be in some seedy downtown bar
Wondering if I’d dreamed you up inside my room
And I wouldn’t be having to write this stuff

BIO;  Steven Storrie has worked as a cable T.V repair man, dishwasher, choreographer, ice cream vendor and junk yard attendant. Tired of this he is currently locked in his basement working on his first full collection of poetry, bickering with his neighbours over nothing and storing the baseballs he keeps when they are hit into his yard. His first collection of short stories, We Are Not The Kids We Used To Be, will be released in November by DevilHouse Press. You can find him at the website he runs, 'Black Coffee For Breakfast', at

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gopal Lahiri- A Poem


Watching every morning then
you used to miss the
the little egret as if running over water
with its vivid yellow toes.

you recall, too the game plan with
snow white ducks and the slick path
the way they mean for you
leading to the ponds and marshes

And those tall cranes stand as statues
gaze fixed on the water and then the
squabbling over tiny fish
end up being funny.

without brush the walking shoes
you know you will throw them,
cracks between the floor boards
and the rose curtain disappearing too,

paintings on the wall,
they are the enemy and they are not,
you think you have the sole right,
You kill them without a thought.