Friday, October 24, 2014

Jens Nicholas Jebsen- Three Poems


Jewel [She.]

I held a jewel in the palm of my hand,
She was hot to the touch and burned my skin
Lilac blue, I had found her nestled deep beneath the land
And as I coveted the stone, I felt a lurch come from within

I dropped the jewel, and she thoroughly embedded herself within a crack
Then I stared obtusely at my flesh, at the fresh, sizzling burn
And as close as the gem was, I realized I'd never get her back
And further more, all things considered, that I'd never learn

The Jewel smoldered away, emanating hate as I languished above
And eventually I walked away, hoping one day she might forget
There are few things in this world as mercurial as love
Derived from our desire, defined by our regret.



The News

The television blares; three killed in some heinous crime
And patriotic bombs kill thousands somewhere poor
A local man with a plan get's a morsel of our time
The prize is sensationalism, albeit sanitized for gore

Next up is Hillary Clinton, reminding us that AIPAC owns our ass
And now three professional loudmouths slug it out on the Six o' clock news
One says a half-truth, another advocates moral cowardice en masse
And a third shrieks "Terrorism. That's right. You lose."

The Television blares; twenty children died today
Ingredients for such a massacre can be purchased at your local store
Corporate stooges attempt to keep their constituency neutered and at bay
The prize is complacency, for now and evermore.  



Valor  

I saw the whiskey bum by himself on the beach
His meager possessions strewn here and there about the shore
An empty pint, a well worn and slightly torn leather coat
A  lone sock divorced and fuzzy like a peach
 Created a shrine to his service, comprised of relics from the war

His eyes were two stones, cold and grey as the pacific itself
His leathery skin had a junkies unmistakable pallor
He languished, destitute, within the confines of his cell
Long since having fallen of life's continental shelf
And I thought "What would the president think of the tract marks on his arms,
Given his record of service and valor?"

He shot me wry smile, and as if reading my mind,
Said, "Cheer up boy, why you look so sad?
I got all I could ever need or be right here.
And I know it looks like I'm in a bind,
But this shot I'm cooking up is gonna be the best I ever had."

Day after tortuously sluggish day
I saw the life drain from his crumpled form
Until he was nothing but fetid skin and a heap of ragged cloth
Then the fire department came and took what was left of him away
To L.A.N.C,  just another casualty of Operation Desert Storm.


Jens Nicholas Jebsen is a poet from Los Angeles. He is a devout lunatic with a penchant for the subversive.

Richard Schnap- A Poem


PRISONER

I have seen him
In the backs of buses
Like a man condemned
To solitary confinement

And I have seen him
Through liquor store windows
Buying a cheap flask
To help loosen his chains

And I have seen him
Begging on sidewalks
As if a stranger’s coins
Will grant him parole

And I have seen him
Talking to himself
Like a man convicted
For someone else’s crime

Nancy May- Three Haiku


turtle on turtle
pebbles on the shore
ebb into the sea


spring dawn
a bouquet of flowers
wave on wave


waves roll on cliffs
no show on our
wedding day


Nancy May has haiku published in Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Inclement Poetry, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Vox Poetica, Eskimo Pie, Icebox, Dark Pens, Daily Love, Leaves of Ink, The Blue Hour Magazine, Kernels, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Dead Snakes, Danse Macabre – An online literary Magazine, High Coupe, A Handful of Stones, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, UFO Gigolo, 50 Haikus, The Germ, Boston Literary Review, Be happy Zone, Every Day Poets, Cattails, Ppigpenn, Creatrix Journal and M58.
 

She is a monthly contributor at The Camel Saloon and Poems and Poetry. She has reached The Heron’s Nest consideration stage twice and the Chrysanthemum consideration stage once. She is working on her first haiku collection.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems



WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON

We have a starting point
in life shaped for us
like a geometric sculpture
of Giacometti,
climbing up hills
we were like Sisyphus
but forced down
by stones and rubble
that give us trouble,
then a poisoned argument
in the cloudy receding air
that would not go away
yet lessened by twilight
by have darkened sea
with a lark's cry at the moon
but we weigh diving
by the bay
into a night's just surviving
a peaceful conversation,
in the morning
you make a solo run
on the starting line
in your life's marathon
but time may run out
for our once
swimming relationship
even here in the dawn.



AT A USED BOOK SHOP 

At a used book shop
in the East End of London
among famous named
unread Dickens volumes
and library antiques
when you unashamedly
need a leak
waiting for the auction
to begin
your weak nerves begin
to be in shreds
as Dickens begins to speak
from your novel in hand
in heady whispers
and then my reading
out loud in the midst
of the boisterous crowd
and what if critics think
that my accent
is like his
as the business of the auction
starts up
my breath swirls
and my heart beats
a million times
as if there was my rhythm
with a raspy verse
of my reciting in time,
none leave the premises
or want to think
of an arbitrary curse
or a detective's crime
this being the anniversary
of Dickens' death
as an old inspector
in a raincoat
from the basement
holds up the first book
of his to sell
and all goes well
for a hour or two
as the room empties
its traffic of retinue
yet here is a Dickens portrait
or a facsimile
resting in an armchair
over me.



RAINED OUT

Rained out on Sunday
for your sax's
official performance
but still the numbers
of patrons arrive
and you do not care
what the media
or your manager says
and you open the hall
with extra keys
find an electrician to do
lights and a friend
to pass out the programs
call up the critics
get up on stage
until the initial dawn
and blast your sax
staying up all night
waiting for the reviews.

Bradford Middleton- Three Poems


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE?

Is life merely the banal collecting of quality goods?
A family, a house and of course a job
Or can it be more like the route I have taken
That of isolation, rented rooms and too much fun

I had my time when I couldn’t wait for the weekend
So I learnt why wait for anything when you can do it now?

Tuesday lunchtime and I’m running a thirst already
So why should I wait?
Fuck waiting for a respectable hour
It’s time for a drink or two now

Friday night can happen on Tuesday lunchtime
There’s no point in wasting your life just do it now

This is what it means to live
A real freedom to do what you want
Outside of the obvious whilst saying a
Big fuck you to the mainstream and their worried concerns


FUCKED FOREVER

I’m walking down the street
Cloaked in abject misery
Speeding up close to death with the sense that time is running out
But now it’s fuelled by coffee and pure rage
None of the dodgy stuff these days
Cos my mind can’t take any more

It’s my mind that tells me were fucked
And something’s got to change
For the sake of us all
But I see no one coming forward
With ideas to engage with the disenfranchised
The great silent minority whose position is doomed

We show signs of self-loathing, wild abandonment or just plain distraction
About our situation
When what we’ve got to do is join together
And bring about a fundamental change
To this unfair and unjust society in which some have it all
And others have next to nothing

When Thatcher died I hoped it would signal
A sea-change in attitude but if anything its got worse
The Mail and The Sun call for a more right-wing approach to solving our problems
That will leave the likes of me fucked forever
With no money to live then what is the point of work
And when that situation arises it means we’re all fucked, fucked forever


WASTED BLISS

I’ve been wasted so long
I got a sickness in my mind
A sickness that is ascending my mind
To new levels of insanity
At which point I’ll quit
Happy at last in my natural state

I know I’ve been altered
Due to the twenty-six years
Of doping and almost every
Other form of street narcotic
In our land leaving
My mind in a state of bliss

Something really odd has got
To explain why it’s like this now
There were so many years
When it was just easier to forget
But now something has clicked
For how long we shall see…

J.J. Campbell- Three Poems

the last gasps of sunshine

wrap your finger
around these paisley
daydreams

an old saxophone
in the last gasps
of sunshine

the cold embrace
of a former lover

all evil
intentions
are saved for
another time

another place

another crease
in this imperfect
world

pick up your
machine gun
and prove you
are a man

conquer the old
souls with love
and the new ones
with technology

and never forget
three simple chords

the whole fucking 
world can change
with just three
simple chords
 
 
especially when children are around

swimming
in the
fountains

looking
for enough
quarters to
buy a meal

the police
tend to
frown upon
this inside
of the
shopping
mall

especially
when children
are around

and all you
are wearing
is a fanny
pack

you refuse to
get out of the
water until
the cameras
arrive

your fifteen
minutes are
just about to
begin
 
 
growing old is not for sissies

pouring rain
outside and
these old bones
of mine ache
beyond belief

my mother
always said
that growing
old is not for
sissies

she never did
say what to do
once the pills
stop working

i roll an empty
bottle of liquor
on the floor

figure i might
as well start to
look for bullets
 
 
J.J. Campbell is old enough to know better. He's been widely published over the years. He spends most of his days watching sports, enjoying porn and writing his blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems


heroes

i am someone's hero
just haven't
found him yet,
and he's my hero too;
but i never ask
for help
so would he dare to save
me anyway?
i hope so
because i'm too stubborn
for my own good,
and i hope
he'd be brave enough
to let me save
him, too;
because everyone needs a
savior
because the path to
redemption is hard—
we're all stuck
on this earth together
all with our own personal
hells
to endure,
and i hope he
finds me soon
because i've always wanted to
have children and
marriage;
and a true love
that fantasy novels would
envy—
i wonder if my
hero is coming
or if i'm the one
that will have to save
him first.


holding onto hope

i am complete on my own
a whole
not a half,
and yet even wholes feel lonely
sometimes
they're incomplete without
love
whether it's mere friendship or romance
or both
depends on the man or woman,
but i know my heart
has enough love
to
embrace the whole world;
there is a man
out there that will show me
why it never worked
out with anyone else and while i wait
for that man i will continue
to dream and to write and to soar through
clouds of laughter and light
being a candle
for all those who lost their light
to cast magic into the hearts of those that
don't believe in love anymore
because hope
is the thing with the feathers and the wings
and it will always fly if it's given
the chance.


a queen in desire

i do not know
to whom
my heart will one day reside,
so today
i dance in all the field and streams
singing with faeries
and swimming with mermaids;
i know that i am whole
on my own,
and i do not need a man to blossom
into all my petals
yet this queen desires a king—
i'd fight by his side,
and we would ride dragons
slaying all of life's monsters together until
they disappeared into oblivion's
dust;
and when peace came
we could together explore the rivers
full of wonder and magic
learning more about each other and ourselves—
not every queen needs a king,
but i wish to share the
jewels of my love with another and create
a world all our own
blessing the world with a love they can
look up to
one that mirrors the heavens above;
a love fantasy novels
could envy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


THE INEBRIATED POEM
 
I didn’t notice,
while I sat here writing,
that everything in the world
disappeared, except my barstool,
the table, brew, and my misery.
And so I scribed
as if to convince myself of worth,
“this is the tavern of broken hearts,
I am the friendly drunk,
searching for words to ameliorate  
my dejection in a world
that irreverently swallows
pieces of lost love.”
I looked down,
the color of the page
remained white,
the black lines had mysteriously vanished.
In order to document my despondency,
I stood upon the stool
and mounted the table
as the stool tipped away,
singing these words
to an indistinguishable accompaniment
floating in my ears,
beer spittle and bits of a broken heart
flying from my mouth
to an apathetic applause,
using the neck of my bottle
as a microphone and kazoo,
before the bouncer’s deliverance.
 
 
 
THE CONVERSATION
 
Jack Daniels called to me
from behind the bar
in my stupor,
called me from the long line
of liquid male monikers
beckoning my attention
from the shelves
upon which they rested
to validate a taste,
but this night belonged to Jack
as he attempted to pickle
my heart, shredded to pieces
beneath my slumping ribs.
I explained to him
how I gave her my dream,
he laughed then burped,
how I gave her my breath,
he smirked and burned my throat,
how she raised my spirits
toward the highest of clouds,
he gagged and made me heave
my pathetic disposition
toward the busy barkeep,
obviously amused
by the talk with JD
until I enlightened him.



A SLOW DAY
 
It’s been quite a while
from the time when
the shapely waitress
took my order
in this dimly lit pub
where I sit at the only table
next to a window
adjacent to the bar
and watch the rain
intimidate pedestrians
on the street.
The day passes slowly
and the sun has descended
since I last heard the rattle
of glasses or bottles,
since the waitress appeared
on the floor
to complete her rounds.
A warm bottle of brew
occupies my fidgeting fingers,
yearning another cold one
at this corner table
I selected myself
for relative seclusion
and to placate a curiosity,
listening in
on the gossip of barkeeps.

Jack e Lorts- Three Poems


                             Ephram Pratt Anticipates the Voice of an Angel

Encountered by silence
in a reservation of light,

he stands guard
like a sentry in exile,

lifting an invisible voice
into harmony

with victorious angels,
lighting bronze lanterns,

casting light into
the darkness of mid-day,

the darkness of
antipathy, melting

into an assumption
of vinegar and delight.

Cross the deserts
of morality

with the sounds that echo,
like immigrant voices,

silent as syncopation.
etching its voice into

Francis of Assisi’s
frock, hanging loosely

from his shoulders,
and coughing in silence

to the ears pierced
by illuminating angels.



                             Ephram Pratt Explores Loneliness
 
Inelegant was the word
whispered into

a wispy silence
surrounding

absurd signs of
soft digitalis and apples,

fondled softly
by shackaleers

leaning into the wind
arriving from the south.

If the fox glove
was withering,

it was news
to the elevator operators

acknowledging
incandescent logic,

while singing dirges
forgotten for centuries,

and revived only
for the realms of fantasy

held tightly
in the stirring aftermath

of liberated angst,
broken by

a moon shadowed
loneliness.



                             Ephram Pratt Winces at the Sound of Poppies

Delivered in silence
by voices heard

only in the vapors
of an expanded avoidance,

one crossing torches
and finger tips

with shackaleers
known to reach

heights and depths
or irrational indignation.

Color the irregularities
a colorless shade of mauve,

and let them lip sync
their way onto

the deserted rooftop
of a burning warehouse,

a roof lined with
secular candelabra,

whose flames whisper
nothing into

the roiling air above
                              a wilted grove of poppies.



BIO: Jack e Lorts has appeared widely, if infrequently, over the past 40+ years in such magazines as Arizona Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, English Journal, Oregon English Journal, Arsenic Lobster and High Desert Journal, etc. More recently, his “Ephram Pratt” poems have appeared extensively in Haggard and Halloo and Elohi Gadugi and elsewhere on-line. A retired educator, he’s active in state and local politics, currently Mayor of Fossil, OR (population 478). 

Melanie Browne- A Poem


They say It starts with a Fever

I check into the hotel and wait for the elevator,
the Tae-Kwon-Do group I pass in the hall 

practices their kicks while laughing and running in circles,
I walk into the room and it is deathly still

and turn on the television like a zombie on auto-pilot
the volume is too loud but there is Jimi Hendrix

so I leave it alone and fall into the bed
and enter into a catatonic state I think the

kids from the Tae Kwon Do group are
above my head so I beat on the ceiling with my shoe,

try a different channel and they talk about the Ebola
so I turn it back to Jimi and I think sometimes

his fingers are like rats chewing on the strings of
his guitar so playful and yet they crawl inside

my brain and I wake up on the other side of
something and I hear a knock on the door

but it isn't  you it is a drunk guy and he is
drooling and lost and says "Hi," and I call downstairs

to complain but Jimi has a bad feeling and I fall
asleep and dream of a white rabbit wearing a 

waistcoat & a pocketwatch he rescued from the Titanic
"Im late," he says "I'm having tea with Lucky Luciano..."