Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend

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Contributor: Shawn Wunjo

- -
I still love you
I still love the memories of you

the way you smiled
as you drenched your grandma
with kerosene

the way you laughed
as you pushed her wheelchair
down the fire escape

the way you cheered
when her burning body
hit a school bus

the way you danced
when the pile-up you caused
took fifty-seven lives.


- - -
Shawn Wunjo is the author of a number of banned books.

New Yawp, New Yawp

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
God is everywhere, I know,
but Michael Bloomberg,
the mayor of New York,
is catching up.
He's on TV incessantly,
telling folks about his
new commandments:
Thou Shalt Not Buy Big Sodas.
Thou Shalt Not Buy Big Guns.

He disturbs my neighbor Roscoe,
whose bib overalls encase
a perfect pumpkin paunch.
He likes a wash of Mountain Dew
after double shots of gin
and keeps a howitzer under his bed
in case some nincompoop some night
comes to steal his llamas or his wife.
"Llamas cost big money," Roscoe says.
"but I can find another wife."

Unlike God, whom I have yet to see,
Michael Bloomberg has a face
reminiscent of the four on Rushmore.
I want to yell at him but can't because
the man sounds almost right.
I had nuns in grammar school like him
but they smiled once or twice.

God loves all men, I know,
but I'm afraid the Lord might ask
the mayor of New York to take
the microphone some day
and firmly announce
the End of the World.
At any given moment
Michael Bloomberg is
the best man in America
to handle that assignment.
He was born to separate
sheep from goats.


- - -
Donal Mahoney spent most of his life in Chicago and grew up under the reign of the original Mayor Richard J. Daley, a very tough mayor. He lives in St. Louis now and from afar thinks Mayor Bloomberg may be tougher than Daley.

Lesson Learned in His Smiting

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Contributor: Sy Roth

- -
Adam’s second son could no longer lift his head.
The other smote him,
Cracked him upside his head,
Crushed it like a red-ripe watermelon.
Hammered it into the ground with a stone
until its blood puddled on the tilled earth.

He watched life ebb from the other
for the first time ever,
after his own blood cooled.
Callow body reacted in anger,
Supreme being’s fault
having dismissed his offering.
The other would not awaken,
so he left the field
where nothing further could grow.

The first couple mourned the passing.
Amends like dead fish
lay flopping breathless on shore.

Enoch would have to do,
child sprung from a sister’s loins,
lesson learned from action,
and a city constructed on the separation of
right from wrong arises around it.

Nothing exists in a vacuum of inaction.
He proved it.
Lesson learned.


- - -
He comes riding in and then canters out. He resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Twice selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology. A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

Revenge Stabbing

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Contributor: Derrin Yorem

- -
That's right
that's what you were
a quick stab in the night
revenge brought to bed
anger driving me
between your thighs.

That's right
that's what you were
voodoo doll
stand-in
for the hate
I hold
for her.

That's right
it wasn't about you
it was about me
it was about her
it was about me
getting to her
getting into her
through you.


- - -
Derrin is a student and a writer.

Vacillating Benny and Monsanto Max

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Vacillating Benny, an ancient chemist
now retired from Monsanto, must decide
if a poem his friend Ron has sent to him
is good enough for his hobby journal.
Benny finally decides to let the poem

marinate for another month
without sending Ron a reply.
Maybe it will sound better later on.
A month later, Benny asks his dog,
Monsanto Max, for an editorial opinion.

Bolstered by his dog's advice,
Benny sends Ron a note:
"I'm considering your poem
and will get back to you later
with a quasi-final decision."

How might you respond if you were Ron,
a retired professor who wrote his poem
while teaching English in Vietnam?
Ron decides to send old Benny
three cases of Dom Perignon,

each bottle filled with Agent Orange.
Ron hopes Benny will have
the time he needs to decide if
his poem's worthy of publication.
Ron remembers decades ago

when they were young and in their prime
and his old friend Benny was
First Vice President at Monsanto.
Ever decisive, Benny quickly approved
new applications for Agent Orange.


- - -
Donal Mahoney has had poetry and fiction appear in various publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

My Sunshine

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Contributor: Brittany Zedalis

- -
The feeling of warm green grass against my fingertips,
The taste of sweet summer air,
Cheerful laughter in the distance,
Please, take me back there.

Take me back to strong arms,
Lifting me whenever I fell,
Back to songs of sunshine,
To the houses in which we dwelled.

Send me away to younger days,
To her magic words, so kind,
When I followed in her shadow,
Not a mark on her skin from the passing of time.

I fear for the future and what it holds,
When I can walk in her shadow no more,
A mother so strong for so very long,
Of whom I will always adore.


- - -
I am 20 years old, married, and attending Francis Marion University to be an elementary teacher. I enjoy reading, writing and photography, while also running a small photography business on the side of everything else in my life. I've had a few poems featured online and in print.

The Guilt Wrapped City Of Regret

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
The guilt wrapped city of regret
is where I now hide and reside.
With all of the other people
with the pain and shame inside.
The translucent fear is everywhere
read a dark secret in each eye.
All waddling through the worry
strangling rumours until they die.
We toast the ghosts of lovers
alive but with us now no more.
We utter aloud different names
as we paralytically hit the floor.
Someone smiled aloud yesterday
we stoned them in the square.
In the guilt wrapped city of regret
blame’s the only thing we share.
The gates they open frequently
letting the new damned fools in.
We attack them before nightfall
safer to get the first boot in.
I am the oldest of the crowd
I have been here since the first.
Since the first time I kissed her
she who makes all innocence cursed.


- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

A New Life

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Contributor: Nancy May

- -
speeding car
girl on motorbike
zips traffic

train station
green leaves stroll
in the wind

dying spring
a painted lady
in the rain

train whistle
the connection on time
melting snow

daydream
a spider climbs
Mount Everest

a rowing boat
impossible dreams
start to bloom


- - -
Nancy May has been writing poetry a year. She has poetry published in Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Inclement Poetry, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Vox Poetica, Eskimo Pie, Icebox, Dark Pens and Kernels.

1956 State Championship Reunion

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Great victories in youth,
some of them remarkable,
are recorded in a scrapbook

lost for many years
only to emerge decades later
when age affords the leisure

to rustle through a dresser drawer
and find a scrapbook underneath
an ancient uniform, some jocks and socks.

Cheers from games spring off the page
as do tall teammates dead for years,
their jump shots perfect, their laughter loud.

This will be the last reunion,
he knows that for certain.
The scrapbook will become

a game of none on none.
A doctor told him yesterday
he's dribbling out the clock.


- - -
Donal Mahoney has been reading the obituaries for years--ever since his father told him very seriously when he was just a tyke that "there are people dying now who never before died." Information like that can be hard to come by when you're young.

Sylvia

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Contributor: Clinton Van Inman

- -
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.


- - -
Born in England, graduated SDSU 1977, high school teacher.

JUST TWO SOULS

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Contributor: Stacy Maddox

- -
Stealing a few moments to dwell on ages ago
Remembering our amity, for the way it was
When we were younger, those carefree days
I could see in your eyes, you sensed the same
It was so easy to slip back into bittersweet memories

Riding shotgun in your car, music blaring loudly
Faces towards a sizzling summer afternoon
My only care was the burning of my bare feet
On a sunsoaked dash, hot enough to set ablaze
Just two souls that found friendship for awhile

Closure came with many conflicting feelings
I know that our lives have drifted far apart
It struck me me hard when I took one long look
Comparing boy to man, seeing that frequent smile
You wear now under an unfamiliar cowboy hat

As I go about my nightly chores I see you there
Riding on your horse for hours at a time
Visiting and reflecting on when youth was ours
And we were not scared of the future moving on
As it has now, twenty plus some years later.


- - -
Stacy Maddox lives, dreams and writes in the fast-paced city of Lawrence, KS. She loves to soak up the sun by the river and feel the rush of water over her feet while spending time with her family and pets. Stacy has been published in over 15 books, print magazines and online websites. She has been passionate about Art in any form for over 30 years.

The Only Place to Go in Tipperary

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Father Kelly has always claimed
the only place to go in Tipperary
once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.
Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out
as if a body were a mackerel from the sea
glistening in the bottom of a boat
once the mad thrashing is over.
Father Kelly has always claimed
a dead mackerel deserves a nap
before the flames of hell take over.

The late Tommy Dugan arrived at Eagan's
a day or so after he'd been shot
and Eagan laid him out perfectly
with both eyes open and a plastic
booger peeking from his nose,
a cosmetic touch Tommy had requested
when he came to Eagan's the week before,
chomping on an unlit panatela.
Tommy came that day to make
final arrangements, as they say.

That same day Tommy asked if he could be
waked in Eagan's finest casket upside down,
his pants pulled down around his knees
and a sign across his arse saying "Kiss this!"
as a final salute to his mother-in-law.
But the law in Tipperary specifies
no sign of any kind in any casket so
Tommy settled for the plastic booger in his nose.
He knew his mother-in-law would curse it
at the family viewing prior to the wake.

At Eagan's you can make arrangements
years before you die and Eagan guarantees
he'll lay you out the way you specify
provided everything's within the law, of course.
But Tommy Dugan's widow swears
Eagan must have been possessed to put
a plastic booger in a dead man's nose.
Rosie Dugan can't believe her sober Tommy
would ever ask for anything like that.
But after Mass on Sunday friends remind her

Father Kelly has always claimed
the only place to go in Tipperary
once you're dead is Eagan's Mortuary.
Father Kelly says Eagan lays a client out
as if a body were a mackerel from the sea
glistening in the bottom of a boat
once the mad thrashing is over.
Father Kelly has always claimed
a dead mackerel deserves a nap
before the flames of hell take over.


- - -
Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His poetry and fiction have appeared in print and online publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.

A Blaze, A Voice

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Contributor: Sheetal

- -
It feels cozy, its so warm
Will I go back to the womb?
Its my day today.
The mesh is dying and so is the glue.
I cherish this lasting color of blue.

The fiber is strong, like a cobweb,
Life time work of a spider.
Desperate attempts to stretch, wailing cries to maintain joints.
But I am happy, the mesh is giving away.
At last, finally i am able to earn some points.

Pull the roots, uproot them all.
Warm blaze will heal them all

For once, I don't agree with you today.
Why not help the fire
Why do you stand in the middle.
This glue is of no use.
Let the fire do the justice and close this riddle.

You fed a barren, you nourished a fallow.
But today the cactus has a poetic thought.
Its my day today, I am to follow.

A call to you, maintain the sanctity
Let the fire do the duty.
Trust me, it knows more than you and me.
It feels more than you and me.

Vision is clear as water.
Cactus has the road finally,
With the blaze, i shall go
Entranced in the fragrance of wood,
Alcoholic effects are gone, the steps are perfect.
Falcon is out of the hood.

Oblations to the communion with pyre,
Thanks for lighting the fire.


- - -
I am a poet and a traveler by heart.

KISSING DEATH

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Contributor: Jaymee Morgan

- -
I watch him suffer every day,
And I worry because I know he’s in so much pain.

Every day I ache for a miracle,
Wishing the cancer would vanish from his lungs.

I tell him every day that he’s beautiful
And that I’ll never stop believing in him.

His blond hair is gone,
His eyes are red, white, and blue,
His body emaciated,
But he is so beautiful.

We’re drained, in pain, crying every night,
And yet his smile lives,
His soft laughter is there,
And I sleep
Dreaming of waking in his arms,
His smile in the morning sun.


- - -
I am a graduating senior at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut, USA. I have been writing since I was very young. I identify as a transgender FTM; this has been among the challenges I've faced in a "conventional" American high school.

Twelve Inches of What?

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Contributor: Amanda Firefox

- -
I heard them talking over dinner, talking about some guy, some thing that I didn't understand, couldn't understand, wouldn't understand for at least another ten years, at least until I flew past puberty and climbed the rungs of the social system enough to catch hints from younger girls, girls more my age who'd seen and heard more than they'd done.


- - -
Amanda Firefox is a fiery little brunette who spends as much time at the beach as she can manage. She doesn't write much, but when she writes, it's almost always about her favorite subject: boys.

Lennon Loss

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Contributor: John Ogden

- -
On her wall
a picture of the great man himself
whole reason I dated her
thought she'd be hip
thought she'd be the kind of girl
who'd get it
who'd get what it's all about

Nice picture,
I say,
You like his music?

She looks at me,
confused,
says:
The Statue of Liberty has an album?


- - -
John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.

Cavalcade

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Contributor: Michael Scott Olsen

- -
They rode in to the left of me
rode in to the right
never came at me straight
never came into my sights
head-on.

Tracking
tracking
scared out of my wits
little squeeze
little squeeze closer to empty
to death
to death.

Only so many rounds
More Germans than rounds
won't get home
won't get the girl
gotta hope
gotta let God know
(probably same God those boys are praying to)
that if I get through this
if I do my part
keep these squeezes short
and he does his
gets this bird
this crew
home

I'll be the best damn church-going man
I'll be the best damn husband
best damn father
best damn worker

But right now
Lord,
Just get us home
Just get us home
please.


- - -
Michael Scott Olsen is my father. He passed away six years ago. This is one of the poems I found in his journal.

In the Mood

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
We're going dancing, my wife and I,
to a Charity Ball high in the sky where
Glenn Miller's band has been playing
since 1944, the year his plane got lost
over the English Channel.
No wreckage was ever found,
not a single body.
Glenn Miller was going to France
to play for American troops
during World War II.
Government records say
he's still "missing in action."

Maybe so, but I hate to go dancing,
even with music by Glenn Miller.
So I told my wife I'll go if she
can find a dress as red
as the one she wore in 1956
when Father Hennessy said,
"This is a prom. Not burlesque."
A slip of a girl back then,
she made things worse
with black seamed nylons.
All the rage back then, the nylons
disturbed the padre.

But if my wife can find a bright red dress
and a pair of black seamed nylons,
I'll wear the old seersucker suit
I bought at Macy's for the prom.
It goes real well with the "duck tie"
I found "on sale" for 50 cents
at the Army Surplus store.
Father Hennessy loved that tie.
Even now I can hear him bellow,
"That tie's so wide the ducks
will fly for 50 years to cross it."
How prescient the padre was.


- - -
Donal Mahoney has had poetry, fiction and non-fiction published in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, but left his heart in his hometown of Chicago.

It’s Nine O’clock And All Is Hell

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Lost deep in the cruel city
my pockets have been picked clean.
I’m heading straight for disaster
but not the kind that can be seen.
I feel like I’m walking through a sewer
while the rats make decisions up above.
I’d like to learn a foreign language
but no one will teach me the one called love.

You can cut the atmosphere with a knife
turn a wrong look into a murder.
The tension’s knotting up my back
my paranoia’s the weight of a steel girder.
The rain is bouncing upwards
as if to instantly leave this stinking street.
There’s another half-woman on the corner
trying to sell her gone off meat.

HATE, HATE, HATE
I see through neon eyes.
I always take the bait
when it’s wrapped in drunken lies.
“You’re too LATE, LATE, LATE!”
said the beggar to the thief.
I’ve begged it all and more
all that is left is grief.

Lost in a labyrinth of lies
lost in a city of crime.
I’d ask someone what day it is
but no one seems to have the time.
Somewhere just in front of me
I can hear a tolling bell.
That’s another hour wasted
it’s nine o’clock and all is hell.


- - -
Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Leave Her to Heaven

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Contributor: David Macpherson

- -
Gene Tierney is dying in her bed,
Poisoning herself so she can frame
Her sister for her murder.
With seconds to go in this life
With frames shuttling past
Her Oscar nominated death scene,
A guy at the bar says,
"She looks good.. She's hot.
Check out the come hither
Lighting on her face."
Her head falls to the right
And with a willful closing of her eyes,
She's deader than
A bad review in the Times.
And the guy watching points,
"Look at that. That's how I want to die.
Fast, with good make-up."
The movie continues and
More drunks are ordered.
And nothing more is acknowledged
Of the drama on the muted television
And all those unspoken dreams
Of magnificent deaths
In fading technicolor.


- - -

Bed Time

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Contributor: Douglas Polk

- -
tired,
in panties and a t-shirt,
she sits on the bed,
and cries,
wondering why she is so tired,
I shrug my shoulders,
and shake my head,
turn on the television,
let her cry,
while I watch baseball,
nine p.m.,
a long night ahead.


- - -
Douglas Polk is a poet living in the wilds of central Nebraska with his wife and two boys, two dogs and four cats. Polk has had over 250 poems published in over 60 publications within the last two years.

Longing

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Contributor: Vela Damon

- -
silvered leaves of downcast eyes
pause, trembling in midair—

by now it comes as no surprise
that I should find you there;

fevered buds of scarlet tongues
wait, gasping high above—

as if one breath will scar the lungs
and rob them of this love;

wizened limbs of whispered sighs
rest, craving your command—

if only I might pass them by

to perch upon your hand.


- - -
Vela has had a few flash fiction tales published. Still working on longer pieces, always working on something related to writing and will be until she departs for the great library in the sky.

Happy Clouds

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Contributor: Danny P. Barbare

- -
Under the sun-silvered clouds
I’ve heard the joyful laughter of rain
Chuckling with the trees
Gold and dark and green
And I couldn’t help but to join in
Under the silly fat cloud over my head
As a rainbow appeared like taffy.


- - -
Danny P. Barbare likes to go on long walks and think up poems along the way. He loves just everyday life along with writing and his wife and dog Miley.

The Odyssey of Pastor Harold Schnabel

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Listen up! It's Deacon Simon here,
reporting on Pastor Harold Schnabel,
the minister we long ago defrocked.
Remember how he went to Holland
years ago. Hard to believe but
he's coming back a millionaire
who made his money
running a bordello for midgets
with Peyronie's Disease
in downtown Amsterdam.

He hired his staff carefully,
favoring double-jointed women who
understand the geometry of angles,
isosceles and otherwise.
He's coming back to take advantage
of an American Renaissance
in porkpie hats. He says men
will wear them once again
this summer and possibly forever.
It will be the same porkpie hat

made famous by Buster Keaton,
the beloved comedian,
who for years was chief custodian
in Harold's congregation, long before
we deacons finally defrocked him
for simony, calumny,
heterosexuality and serial fraud.
Anyone who thinks Harold's wrong
about an American Renaissance
in porkpie hats needs to remember

the startling success he's had
running that bordello for midgets
with Peyronie's Disease.
The staff of ladies he recruited.
made Harold a millionaire.
We defrocked him for cause but
he's an entrepreneur extraordinaire.
He knows midgets and porkpie hats.
So, please, join me at the airport
Sunday morning after services

so we can make Harold's return
to our beautiful city a boffo event.
He's giving out free porkpie hats
to everyone who comes to greet him.
And big discounts to all midgets
with Peyronie's Disease planning
a trip to Amsterdam this Spring
to admire--what else?--the tulips.
There will never be another Harold.
Let's welcome Pastor Schnabel home.


- - -
A product of Chicago, Donal Mahoney now lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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