She looks and cares I’m privy to the piercing glares Her eyes are sun wrought spears, Alas, I’m so bare The audacity of attempting to plunge Rapiers into my indurate heart….Do I reck? I’m bumfuzzled by my Corazon’s nudity. Must I repent to her loves impugn?
I’m not shackled, stymied, or gyved, yet I feel petrified And cautiously tethered to her palpitating sanctuary Closer she wades The propinquity is a certainty But my heart feels inurned by expedient spades “Egad tis a kiss?” “pardie! Pardie!” is my souls rejoinder
We are alone Only those walls can tell our gest She flutters at our eynes connect We shoot words to the breeze as it’s the only thing between us She tells me grope and I squeeze Exhale and inhale Oh how she trembles as if covered in hail Running the length of her chine She utters “tis your abode, and thou art mine” My teeth elicit a response from her nape We’ve transcended love that is agape I taunt her with my lips as my hips restrain her pelvis on the apprehensive wall My digits act as strings, adjoined to her souls vassal Being tuned for euphony by her hips A heartfelt moan as my appellation is deified
Vinculum matrimonii attained without marriage
There’s an atypical beat of her heart Are lives being attuned?
I’m neither nuncio, novio, squire, nor beau Still she grants me a buss She turns a blind eye to my indifference A deaf ear to my words of unmanned rejections Are thou feigning Eros? What be it of her erogenous desires?
Her friends urge her to repudiate my existence I beseech her “harken to their words” She stares and inquires “why?” “im too callow for affy, Your life has just begun, You’ll find one with thrice my allure” She smiles as if she’s heard naught “ you know you’re going to be the cause of my defloration”
I’ve become a daft infatuate Now her words and actions have feck Pray this is an illusion, an apocryphal will-o- the wisp A lewd is by her side I can see the concupiscence in his wisps Who is he to elicit the same response as I He makes tactual advances with nary an opposition from the lady Amor vincit omnia? To what end? Fie! I’m finished
Vapors rive my ducts tearing whichever way tears must
I hem and haw as the ham and eggers In their appraisal of another’s probity I was an itinerant and she my Baedeker Until I changed guides and discerned the prime rose path Devoid of the vale of tears Was I in l---?
Costume Ball By Terry McGoldrick
As my memory serves me, it seems that I first began to renege on some First Communion promises-- that very same afternoon;
but seven is too young to be held accountable for any pact made in a white shirt, and a clip on tie
to a God that I never could see, nor refute a sin that I never knew I could commit– however venial.
And how about Bonnie, adorned in that glorified white dress? Surely, if there was a God,
she would always be protected, I mean—she was Bonnie! who spoke only in Angelic, and Sacraments like Penance were for boys like me.
Now, the world has begun en masse to shun the same God of our youth, and Bonnie (wherever she might be), and me, the one that learned to plagiarize the sins of others--
look back to the time when our stares seemed to exonerate all of those that forced us to play dress up that day.
Ode To A Lover On the Susquehanna By Melanie Simms
“Ever newer waters flow on those who step into the same waters” -Heraclitus
Love needs no language, Not here, Along the Susquehanna, watching as she twists and bends Returning to mouths, Where sunlight and lovers meet. Not here, Where the silver maple and black cherry sway patiently, Amidst the romantic odes of the meadowlark, Or the ecstasy of the osprey, As they dive and reemerge, Fed by the river. Not here, Where the haunting tales of lush mountains record through the ages, Those first seedlings of love. Here, along the river, she reveals us to one another, As we confess our love, baptized between her gentle waves. How has she found us? Here along the Susquehanna, reflecting in our gaze, the memories of our ancient love’s return.
Cafe Angelika Revisited By Robert Karaszi
Twilight's saffron haze reduced to memory as light strengthens its spars over the horizon silhouetted gossamer, woven upon ash wood and hedge taut like strings on a violin
from my terrace down; closely packed houses, roof tops gnawing at the pith of the air, where starlings wings stretch for sunshine through eastward glints
I recall factories and windmills, wheeling under huddled clouds across the contoured path of the Danube where low tide exposes rockweed, tangled like knotted hair,
I remember omnibuses nosing northward towards Cafe Angelika; over mocha layered crepes the first kiss gleaned from your lips, revived this weary traveler
Flashing Fantasies By Fon Tuma
Once, when my father's people were young and the days were cold, A family of familiars walked in out of the dense rainforest floor, Walked into the dusk of a peaceful people playing village. Once, when Cush was dead and Carthaginians spoke of the 'chariot of gods', Several shadows of amorphous colour and assumption came to become kin. These tall travelers were spiritual beings, their skin kaleidoscope, Their teeth had been sharpened by many an enemies’ bone: They came in peace they said, they had come to survive. They came with gifts - sapling seeds nursed in raffia bags, healing leaves, Cure and remedy. Their women were taller than our men, full of grace, full of nose, Thick of hip, the musicians, entertainers, the artists of this traveler ring. Once, when my tribe was young and the Fon* was beginning to lose faith: Fascinating things crept in from the forest floor to become a part of us.
*title of tribal chief in the western grassland of Cameroon
Two Poems By Victor George
A Heart’s Best Friend We wore our misery Like draped follicles of Chilled indifference and A garbage stained couch with That same damn dirty, decaying retriever Who loves me more than You do He’ll be gone soon, despondent Eyes with lapping breathes which Fill the void of empty threats of Memories which disappear along With everything we’ve ever been And I cleave myself in Two with the image of you N’ him, together, fixed in a Greco-roman embrace of hedonism While I’m in the other room, pizza Man at the door but maybe A little promiscuity injects the Murky red of my being with an Ethos of difference, stroking my Curiosity and my heart May just survive you For now, I’ll pet the dog: Good boy
Unguided It was in the pathless woods of Canada Thought I looked for her, and we jacked Up the old Dodge and flew across the Open seismic road, straight and flat Until we came upon that target less Passage of windy abandoned stalls And a bus where a foolhardy bloke Died once She was the bravest of us all with Her tousled hair and overt desperation for Something else We just didn’t see it then Because we were Blinded and crimson guided boys
Two Poems By Zac Krause
Electrifying Alarm clock sounding Like a crying baby Eyes slowly opening To discs
I scroll out of bed Insert myself Into the car
The sign at the doctor’s office reads You die in the body you live in!
He says with a laugh Let’s check out this hard drive
As he places his stethoscope on my heart All I can think of is how it looks Like he is plugging headphones into my chest
He types in rhythm click-Click, click-Click, click-Click
I text my girlfriend After the check-up T9 changes the words to Let’s break up
What I meant to say was Make sure you live in the body you die in
But I sent it anyways
Gift Shop Without enough money To pay for being myself
I wrote poems On the backs of one dollar bills And on the sides of coins And traded those for a loaf of bread
Then I wrote poems on the backs of the bread And fed the slices to birds Who flew away and were killed By men Who ate them And finally internalized my words.
I wrote poems on the backs of library cards And business cards And placed them under the cushions of waiting room sofas And the mirrors on the mantles of marble mansions
And on the banks of rivers And next to door hinges.
When I died God asked me for a souvenir;
I told him to look on the soles of his shoes.
Two Poems By Clinton Inman
Diana Drag your white skull before blind seas That tumble dazed to your mono-eyed magic. Go tell Neptune when the night is through. Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning. But you can’t catch me with those veiled half smiles. Your borrowed brilliance exposes you As I know your darker side. Go charm some other star struck rhapsodist.
Sylvia I hear they have placed A pretty blue plaque High above your flat So that tourists can find you And say that this is the spot Where you killed yourself.
Lucky girl, you modern Sappho To take the quantum leap Like a comet to take your place Among the darkest regions of empty space With a brilliance that few can keep And even less the mind to know Where no dull planet can perturb you As fallen flowers have no faces.
Vibrant Matter By Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto
The earth battles back, Loma Prieta and Katrina destroy our complacency, Earthquake and hurricane chase us from our homes. The bees go out on strike, Refusing the work that sustains us. Drought destroys germination, Our flood-ravaged farms fail us. Our food at war with our metabolism, Energizing while poisoning our bodies. Dioxin & mercury cross our epidermis, Infect us; kill us in revenge. The air itself in rebellion, Hot, fetid, over-carbonated; Unbreathable. The atmosphere itself, Voting us off the planet. The non-human and the inorganic conspire against us, Plot extinction of our species, Condemn us for crimes against the earth.
Two Poems By Gus Palmer, Jr.
The Novitiate for Markie 1980
The feared for hunter is no more His sweat goes dead at the roots of His elemental hair.
No flinging wild shirt takes to these woods. Nothing dark or fernlike, save for the sleeping, shaping Dust. But an image grows up and begins to take shape in his mind.
Trembling, waking and the thought leaps inside him Like deer flickering in thickets. Steaming, stamping men step from behind trees with guns Sealed blue to their lips.
Nothing dark or fernlike, save for the sleeping, shaping Dust.
Convolutions of men used to pour out of these woods. They poured out like sweat, he knows, to bag the prize deer. He sees their laden shoulders streaming in the bracken brush And wood.
He sees these warriors stave off stones hurrying Dancing, dancing.
The wise deer are in their hovel timber alone, far from vast-hearing, dancing.
The Oldest Trees These are the oldest trees but we saw where the ground spat them out, throw up its arms, rise up like a person, and then fall backwards, trees whose bent bodies ached and broke open the ground in unison like so many ruined animals. Before the brave stars somewhere in deep space only Indians know, ancestral eyes are watching, keeping close together in the nameless rain that severs our already ragged clothes. With ironclad teeth, our breasts redden, shriek like wounded beasts. But the rain does not taste as sweet as it did anymore. When we were children we weren’t supposed to talk or laugh about such things as mayhem, tragedy; or dying, that thing that mimics freedom. That. That was all there was to it.
(On the occasion of the April 13, 2012 tornado in Norman, OK)
Two Poems By Tony Roberts
A Family Inheritance
She stared at her reflection in the silver spoon. It was her Nanna’s. The spoon, not her reflection.
Her face was her father’s. And she hated him for it. It was all he left behind.
Apollo Beach Coal coughing cumulus clouds. Palm trees posturing prettily. Manatees meditating.
Killing The Dead Love By Andres Reyes
In his closet, he finds a large Ziploc bag, full of old love and heartache.
Like the memories, the bag was just occupying space.
Like a squirrel scrounging around Elm Street for nuts while Autumn softly caresses the air with a touch of coldness, Grizzled Youth searches for the old shredder that was given to his dad long ago.
This was the first time he touched the love letters since the break-up.
Every day, he is reminded how it’s been a downer year in the love department.
He takes one deep breath, plugs in the shredder, dumps the letters like shitty store-brand Alpha-Bit soup across the futon sofa.
Letter after letter, memory after memory, their fates meet by way of the shredder.
Each letter was a morgue of the old love: a preserved body in each letter.
So many “I love you’s” and “I miss you’s.” The drama and the romance between these young lovers did not compare to the state of their love’s demise. High school sweethearts turned sour with the concoction of infidelity, lies, miscommunication, and lack of trust.
The buzzcutting of the shredder hisses through the air. At 50% complete, it encounters a jam.
Grizzled Youth unplugs the shredder, forks it, cleans up the jam, plugs it back in and continues to mow his overgrown lawn of guilt.
Old messages of after-school plans, high school semis, the prom, and cute puppy love kisses him “goodbye” before they are reduced to shreds.
Grizzled Youth watches the bodies cremate slowly. The process takes an hour.
When he finishes, Grizzled Youth gathers the shreds inside an old Valentine’s Day heart-shaped candy box and sets it all into flames.