Satan's Annual Report

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Adolph's been here since the Forties.
So have Benito and Tojo.
As soon as they arrived we gave
each of them a huge furnace.
They shovel coal all day and all night.
That's what we do with celebrities
who have earned special attention.
We give it to them in spades.

Down through the centuries
we've been home to the best or the worst
people in government and business,
depending on how you look at it.

Check out Attila over there.
He's been shoveling for centuries
and he's getting pretty efficient.
We put Osama right next to him.
Osama's so tall we had to order
our longest shovel yet.

We're getting ready for Assad.
He could arrive any day now.
We put in a gas furnace for him.
He'll shovel emissions.
Pol Pot will train him.

Pot's done well foot-stomping grapes
in our Agent Orange fields.
He trained all the guys from Monsanto.
Now we'll bring him up to speed on Sarin.
We expect a big influx of Sarin experts.
Sarin will be bigger than plastic.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Out Of Hiding

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Contributor: L.A. Sykes

- -
Despise in their eyes
Have a proper gander
At the propaganda and the lies
And the deal that they’ll hand you

I said no so they gave me a hiding
Thought I was free but they’d been watching and spying
Anger is an energy said rotten Jonny Lydon
The cops must have heard him. What a good a hiding!

Time is of the essence
Ascent is economic?
Try and preach some sense
They label you a comic

I lost my job and couldn’t stop crying
Tears of joy truth told no lying
Started to starve so it was off to the street bin
I’d beat them to it so they gave me a hiding!

I never signed nor saw the contract
The week before I agreed to be born
The solicitor forgot to make the contact
So leave me legally alone

I’m trapped at the bottom so I’d best get high then
I winked at judiciary through the smoke in the drug den
In their gentleman’s club that I didn’t belong in
Sweet dreamless sleep from too hard a hiding


- - -
L.A. Sykes is a writer from Atherton, Greater Manchester, whose works include his debut short story collection, ‘Through A Shattered Lens, I Saw’, and the novella, ‘The Hard Cold Shoulder’, both out now in all formats through Thunderune Publishing’s crime noir arm. He’s been up or due at Shotgun Honey, Powder Burn Flash, The Big Adios, Blink Ink, Linguistic Erosion, Death Throes, James Ward Kirk’s Bones anthology, Dark Dreams Podcast and others and contributes to Mark Slade and Frank Larnerd’s bizarre noir Blackout City Podcast while he works on his first novel and other projects.

Harmless

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Contributor: Jade Bennington

- -
Twig in hand,
I part muddy leaf upon leaf,

and out of the puddle, I lift


a ribbed golden fish

shimmering like summer.

That's a rattlesnake. 

It's poisonous, says the boy 

beside me.


Last breath

above water

and the earthworm

I let fall

splashes into the puddle
sinks below dandelion tendrils

my eyes widen,
mouth open.


- - -
Jade Bennington is a writer of poems and fiction. Her work has appeared in Gean Tree Press, a handful of stones, and Meridian Anthology, Vol. III. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and currently resides in Raynham, Massachusetts.

Poppycock

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
The Alumni News
arrives by email now,
no longer in a
proper envelope.
This saves trees,

the college says.
Poppycock, I say.
Truth be told,
this saves
postage, labor.

Names of alumni
appear by year,
most recent first.
Takes time to scroll
down to find

the Class of '56
only to discover
Fred is dead
and so is Ed.
Every issue knells

more classmates
nodding off.
One man's left
in the Class of '38.
He's the one

dead classmates
sent their news to.
By email, I imagine.
This saves trees.
Poppycock, I say.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Perfect Desire

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Contributor: Ron Koppelberger

- -

Believing in the suns cadent aura,
An amazing halo of perfect desire reflected by the
Mirrored glass of passionate eyes and tender smiles,
The enticing allure of a love borne in the cradle
Of a deeper dream, by dizzy deliriums in gasping need
And the slow passage of a moment in sweet embrace.


- - -
I have been writing since I was eight years old. I have published in a variety of magazines and I love to see my work in print, especially if i can influence the reader to a moment in time, a thought, a feeling, perhaps a distant memory of something pleasant or inspiring. I hope you enjoy my work.

Evolution of Life

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Contributor: Chelsea L. Gipson

- -
Butterflies flutter
like cavemen stutter
but both are just living their life.

Blossoming cocoons tremble
like twins resemble
but both are just living their life.

Caterpillars crawl
like procrastinators stall
but both are just living their life.

Larvae grow
like the winds blow
but both are just living their life.


- - -

Let me be your star

| Filed under

Contributor: Linda M. Crate

- -
I'd walk a thousand miles
for your love and even a million
more, I'd wear nothing more than
a white withered rose if that
would gain me your affection; I
could be your super nova and burn
away all the pain of every
hurtful yesterday that clings as dew
upon your grasses, let me be the
star that brightens your galaxy -
allow me to be the one to blaze
dawn upon your darkest day.


- - -
Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh, but she was raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She has recently moved to Fort Fairfield, ME. She attended and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature in 2009. She has a passion for writing that she has nurtured since the age of thirteen. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines the latest of which includes: Nebo: A Literary Journal and Visceral Uterus.

A Nest Of Bayonets

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
In a nest of bayonets
the war child was born.
Smooth and armoured
into the battlegrounds' dawn.

As the sky thundered with artillery
and blood puddled upon the ground.
The war child, it happily suckled
upon each and every dying sound.

He grew up to be healthy
to be superior and proud.
Is he pressing that button
or just messing around?


- - -
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.

Postpartum Depression

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Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
A wound like that
doesn't leave a scar
because it never heals.

Fifty years ago
the doctors didn't
have a name for it

but that's no help
to Jimmy now.
Ginny's dead

and their six kids
have children of their own,
some of them in college.

The doctors know
how to treat it now.
They tell mothers

what to watch for
after giving birth.
They tell fathers, too,

but that's no help
to Jimmy
in his wheel chair

sitting in the lobby
of the nursing home
watching silent

movies of his life
flicker through his mind.
A rerun every day.

He can't even
speak about it
since the stroke.

A wound like that
doesn't leave a scar
because it never heals.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

About Love

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
We do not need thoroughfares
when love seeks the heart

Such is the way of love—
always destined, never sought

We do not need gold coins
when love comes without cost

Such is the value of love—
always priceless, never bought

We do not need a wise man
when love speaks through art

Such is the beauty of love—
always instilled, never taught

And we do not need a ruse
when love surrenders to us all

Such is the enigma of love—
always mysterious, never caught


- - -
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

On trying to write a poem for my love

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Contributor: Richard Cody

- -
Is it artistic excess
or mere stupidity?
Certainly my poetic license
has done expired,
null and void
at my first attempt
to describe,
in mundane words,
the essence of a woman
whose beauty and life
leave me breathless
and speechless
with tears in my eyes.


- - -
Richard Cody writes poetry and fiction in San Jose, California. His work has appeared in many print and virtual journals, and been rejected by many more! He is the author of The Jewel in the Moment, Darker Corners and This is Not My Heart.

This Rose

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Contributor: Michael Lee Johnson

- -
So
simple
yet so
small
this
yellow rose
I place
beneath
your door.

-1973-


- - -
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa.

Into the Land of Fires

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Contributor: Lorraine Caputo

- -

I.
The phantom full moon
meets the morning sun
gliding a broad band
across the Strait of Magellan


II.
On the higher pampas
guanacos crunch
the icy snow with
each stride of their grazing

In a rime-edged pond
rose flamingos huddle

A solitary ñandú
gazes across the plain


III.
Again along the Estrecho
its waters deep-
steel-blue, fringed by
stiff paja brava


IV.
Upon these shores strewn
with centuries of wrecked ships
rust the ruins of an estancia


V.
A herd of guanaco startles
& flees through the grass,
russet-headed caiquén
take wing


VI.
Across the First Narrows
of Magellan’s Strait
to Tierra del Fuego, its
autumn-gold steppes
marked by the soft step
of guanaco, southern
clouds periwinkle
in the noon sun


VII.
A northern wind whip the
hair of chapped-face men
leading horses, whips the
fur of their dogs, the
fleece of their sheep


VIII.
A rainbow arcs
from the now-hilly land,
into the snow-laden sky


IX.
Magellan Geese fly
low over this frozen
Land of Fires swept
by winds swirling across
frosty lagoons

On the far southern horizon
scrapes Darwin’s
glaciered range


X.
Guanaco shelter
in rocky tors
sculpted by the wind
into abstract
lace towers


XI.
The harsh gale
rustles the manes
of wild mustangs
atop a knoll, scouting
the pampas below


XII.
Faintly Iris’ arch
washes the clouds
above almost-winter plains

Frigidly the ocean gleams
beneath the weak
austral sun


XIII.
Twilight drapes its royal-
blue cape across the steppes,
a fiery full moon rises
over Tierra del Fuego


XIV.
I search the clear night
for that Crux Australis
to lead me to the shores
of Beagle Channel


XV.
Moonlight bathes the snow,
silhouettes Northofagus
& ghostly mountains
streaked with frozen
cascades



ñandú—Lesser Rhea (Pterocnemia pennata)
Estrecho—the Spanish name for the Magellan Strait is Estrecho de Magallanes
paja brava—a wild grass (Festuca spp)
caiquén—Magellan Goose (Chloephaga picta)
Cruz Australis—the Southern Cross
Northofagus—family of larch & beech trees



- - -
Lorraine Caputo is a documentary poet, translator and travel writer whose works appear in over 90 journals in Canada, the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia; eight chapbooks of poetry; five audio recordings and ten anthologies. Caputo has done over 200 literary readings, from Alaska to the Patagonia. For the past decade, she has been traveling through Latin America, listening to the voices of the pueblos and Earth.

Rifts and Sky Dust

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Contributor: Taylor Gibbs

- -
A spray of dust
that falls from stars.
That leaps
and swirls off your tongue,
has blinded eyes,
to your guise, ruses
from your lungs.
A blindfold grown of cataracts;
visions blurred of
crawling cracks,
inch-ing along the walk,
opens up Marianas, like a diner,
free for all, drop in -
The way my stomach plunges off a pier
when I see you again.


- - -
My name is Taylor, I live in Mississauga Ontario. I love to read and write poetry and what I call the "Sensitive Macabre." I am set to have a few poems published in the Wilderness House Literary Review, and I am self-published.

The Existence of You

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Contributor: Jason Sturner

- -
Morning—delicate
thirsty
the sky yawns
earth stretches . . .
You near the ending of a peaceful, romantic dream.
The silence of night subsides, you open your eyes—
two emeralds shine beneath the sun.

Another day is born,
another morning blessed.
Such simple truths are easily told
by the existence of you.

Night—romantic
alive
the stars shine
earth sighs . . .
You smile and all things are curious—
a shooting star passes over your essence.

Another twilight has come,
another night takes the stage.
Standing ovations are easily understood
by the existence of you.

I hear them . . .
I hear them whenever I'm around you—
the subtle, graceful heartbeats of angels.
They surround you like butterflies gone mad.

And all my love for this world,
all my love for beauty, for nature;
all my love for life was awakened
by the existence of you.


- - -
Jason Sturner was born in Harvey, Illinois, and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has published three books of poetry: Kairos, 10 Love Poems, and Selected Poems 2004-2007 (all available as free downloads; see website). He resides in Wheaton, Illinois and works as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Website: www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

Your Strength

| Filed under

Contributor: Linda M. Crate

- -
like a frightened mouse
I lay in my hole
unwilling to dart out into
situations that make me uncomfortable,
yet you've taught me sometimes
I have to be brave and
weather the storm
no matter how difficult they
are or how much I'd like to run away
because you would never let me shatter.


- - -
Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh, but she was raised in the rural town of Conneautville. She has recently moved to Fort Fairfield, ME. She attended and graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature in 2009. She has a passion for writing that she has nurtured since the age of thirteen. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines the latest of which includes: Nebo: A Literary Journal and Visceral Uterus.

Into The Garden

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Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
I took her into the garden,
she wanted to see a shooting star.
I wished her luck,
took three steps away
and wondered if it would get her
with its first shot.


- - -
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.

Deification

| Filed under

Contributor: C.V. Ellis

- -
Take my splintered psyche,
Lie down with me in night,
Reach deep into
My black-fog abyss,
Pull me back to
Sanity's door
As I dance with Clarity,
Let me feel your
Velvet breath
Tremble on my nape

Lift off the years of
Pestilence and blight,
Cure the syndromes,
The plaguing signs
That rape and
Mindless abuse
Left behind,
Undo the spells
And Juju curses,
Deify me now
With your caress

Tell me this night
That you alone
Are sent by the Gods,
The agent of Grace, to
Transform my scars,
Heal my Illness
For a brief hour
In shadows of night,
Take me to a sacred place,
Offer release


- - -
I love to read and write and prefer poetry that tells it like it is.
I've been married for 36 yrs. (yes, to the same woman).
I attended San Diego State University.

Haunting Afflictions of Love

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Contributor: Ron Koppelberger

- -
The coquette of a burning glance back
Toward the dreaming silence of a heated intention
To betrothal, whispered in accord and oblique
Lines of shadow, the mystery of a silhouette together with the sustenance
Of a better shadow, shameless by the
Obliging love of a divine adage given substance
By lights in vaguely haunting afflictions
Of love.


- - -
I have been writing since I was eight years old. I have published in a variety of magazines and I love to see my work in print, especially if i can influence the reader to a moment in time, a thought, a feeling, perhaps a distant memory of something pleasant or inspiring. I hope you enjoy my work.

To Be Read From The Inside Out

| Filed under

Contributor: Paula Ray

- -
My heart is an unopened love letter,
yellowing at the bottom of a rusty mailbox.
A slice of light moves through my prison like a sundial.
I dream of warm hands,
a face pushed against my back,
someone breathing me in,
ripping open this envelope I wear like a shroud,
and unfolding me,
spreading me naked,
eyes scanning every inch of me,
devouring what they see,
until liquid happiness falls from their eyes and lands on my name,
causing it to blur and bloom into something beyond language.


- - -
Paula Ray is a musician from North Carolina with a syncopated heart and an addiction to prose poetry. One of her poems has recently been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, which both surprises and delights her. Paula's work has appeared in numerous small press zines, such as: Weirdyear, elimae, Word Riot, Liebamour and Necrotic Tissue. Visit her blog: http//:musicalpencil.blogspot.com for more information.

From America With Love

| Filed under

Contributor: Keith Fuchs

- -
This is no scrimmage,
I envisage, scrounging some tips
To take a trip in to the dew
To bask in the sight of you.
You'd appear especially fair,
You've let down your mahogany hair.
Straight strands or in a plait or mane prepared.
Either way, you will be alluring and grand.
The color of your iris match the hue of tee-shirt or blouse.
Elegantly dressed, with a matching skirt or pant.
Your lips are soft, sweet and wet
With your nose bantam and perky
Courteously set.
Your face ought to be painted in portrait,
For it is a work of art, every moment I get
To behold it's beauty resplendent.
Your smile is homely and cordial
A constant reminder, I'm mortal.
For I conceive why I was born,
To forlorn the embark of such an ethereal species.
To understand that it is she,
That gives life meaning.
As I sleep, i do not count sheep,
I formulate, the steps to take
To arrive in her brace.
In a distant courtyard, a far
I envision commandeering a car,
Over rolling hills and grassy knolls,
Under overcast skies, as the gale blows.
A misty drizzle soaks the lonely road
Cobblestone footbridges over creeks that trickle and flow.
I traveled a great span,
Seeking your sister's hand.
Your cousin, your niece
She awaits in the terrace cloister,
At the circle, down the close.
There, the botany and posy prosper
You can recite her various titles,
Only one fits her proper.
My love, she is the jewel in my chest.
My heart which flutters, twitch and compress.
Upon the scent of her, I'm rapturous.
Madam Lissy, you and I should be together.
Our love can blossom in inclement weather.
Shine when it's pleasant and turn knees to feathers.
Let us not dwell on our shortcomings.
I love you too much and you love me.
So dearest Alison, can't you see?
It should always be, you and me.


- - -

Monsanto's Gift to War

| Filed under

Contributor: Donal Mahoney

- -
Smitty isn't Schulte.
He doesn't drive a Cadillac
and doesn't hit his wife
often any more.
Schulte, on the other hand,
drives a Cadillac
and hits his wife
usually on weekends
for no good reason.
He's been doing that for
more than 40 years
ever since the boys
came home from Viet Nam

not knowing they had been
touched by Agent Orange,
Monsanto's gift to war.
They had a double wedding with
girls they liked in high school.
Smitty says therapy
has helped a little.
He hasn't struck his
second wife in years.
But Schulte hasn't changed.
The police have come again
tonight, sirens blaring,
gumball lights swirling.

Two big officers,
matched like bookends,
march Schulte out in cuffs.
He's cursing at his wife
who's in a nightgown
bawling on the porch
as if Schulte's going
back to Nam again.
Smitty swears Schulte
never left the paddies, that
he's still knee-deep in water
bright with Agent Orange,
Monsanto's gift to war.


- - -
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Irresistible Yet Insane

| Filed under

Contributor: Paul Tristram

- -
Here she comes now
down, down like the rain.
Here she comes now
irresistible yet insane.

The humming whisper pulled up
right up to the curb side.
Out stepped the last of many,
the last of the many before me.
She slithered up, out and kissed,
kissed him into blue ashes,
blew him westwardly, easily.
His hat rolled down the street
searching for a new owner
but found nothing but more road.
She beckoned, I followed
like a crazy human echo,
unchained physically, yet
gripped heart and soul.
I stumbled, yeah that’s right
I can’t even get that right,
me the imperfect echo.
Upon reaching the door
she turned like something,
like something moving within me.
She smiled softly a ballad
then bid me do enter,
so I did, stumbling again.
But as I hit the floor
two of her many pets
grabbed each of my arms.
They dragged me up the stairs,
along a corridor of crystal
and into a bedroom of crimson.
I have now been chained here
yes, here to this bedside
for the last three weeks.
I’ve been peeled by sweat
from the neck to the toes.
Her pets are around me,
I hear the humming whisper,
it approaches and waits outside.
We silently await her return,
she’s out alone, scouring the night
in search of the next one.
Soon she will return afresh,
flushed with new expectancy.
Together we will walk down,
down that dark path of pine.
No more merely an echo
for I have proved something.
I know not what but something
Ah, but wait, I hear her now.

Here she comes now
down, down like the rain.
Here she comes now
irresistible yet insane.


- - -
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.

Hands Holding Scissors

| Filed under

Contributor: Taylor Gibbs

- -
I dreamt of being happy, and
I guess I sleep-cut,
because I bled it all out
when I wasn't around.
I don’t remember what it was like,
smiling,
color bursts in the afternoon,
with things to look forward to.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder?
Desperate? Saddened?
No one understood,
the frozen nights alone in the snow bank outside the barren house under listless stars that barely shone.
Everything was so dull, the moon’s silver side, cheap and tarnished like an old nickel in a ditch, left a swamp green ring on the back of my eyes;
black and bruised,
blossoming rose red petals from self prescribed fists holding baseballs.
There is a precipice looming over a bottomless, canyon, abyss, some of us hang from
by only our loosening finger nails.
Only the lucky ones can hold on long enough to keep from falling
pulling themselves to safety.
Some struggle clambering.
Some prefer to drown.
I re-taught myself to smile with an exercise routine
and a pair of scissors.


- - -
My name is Taylor, I live in Mississauga Ontario. I love to read and write poetry and what I call the "Sensitive Macabre." I am set to have a few poems published in the Wilderness House Literary Review, and I am self-published.

Cherry Blossom Rain

| Filed under

Contributor: Paula Ray

- -
Last night my skin was thin:
translucent, smooth, and veined,
iridescent dragonfly wings--
my fragile shield.

There was no fear of ripping,
tearing chiffon overlay
he gently bathed:
lathered with a cashmere-tongue.

Out of my mouth they flew--
snowflakes of powered lace,
dancing with condensation--
heated vows stretched
the length of my body and beyond.

Cherry blossoms fell from his lips:
pink promises landed in steams
flowing from my happy dark eyes
shining--I knew, I knew.


- - -
Paula Ray chews words and blows them like bubbles. Sometimes they pop in her face and get embedded in her hair. Other times, they splatter on the screen in front of her and litter literary zines. When she isn't pushing letters around, she plays instruments and attempts to bring the dead ones back to life and find good homes for them in area schools with low budgets and high student populations. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in: Weirdyear, Word Riot, elimae, and many other wordy places. Visit her blog: http://musicalpencil.blogspot.com/

The One I Loved

| Filed under

Contributor: Sergio A. Ortiz

- -
is the table pocket
for all her stripes,
one she never bothers
to touch.
He softens her perm
pretending
to be the country hard boy
knowing all the snooker rules,
implausible reporter of dancers
and gongs,
barbarous journey
of a comb so genteel
there is no other consequence possible
than the alteration of life.


- - -
Ortiz is an educator, poet, and photographer. He has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a M.A. in philosophy from World University. His photographs will appear in The Neglected Ration and The Monongahela Review. He was recently published, or is forthcoming in: The Battered Suitcase, Zygote in my Coffee, Right Hand Pointing, Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing, Writers’ Bloc, and Temenos. Flutter Press published his chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk (2009).

You Move Me

| Filed under

Contributor: Linda M. Crate

- -
Waves of grain bend so easily
as I cave into your will whatever
you desire I will give you for I
love you enough to let go of some
of my more petty desires for you
make my heart smile in a way
that no one else could; you speak
to my soul some ripple of remembrance
that the waters of life washed away
from me, and your lips kiss away my fears.


- - -
Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native currently migrated to Maine. She has a degree in English-Literature and her poetry and short stories have appeared in many publications the latest of which include: Birds Eye reView, Mirror Dance, Blue & Yellow Dog, Crisis Chronicles Online Library, Super Flash Fiction, and Dead Snakes.

Now That I Desire

| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Lee Johnson

- -
Now that I desire to be close to you
like two occupants sharing a twin bed
sensing the warmth of sweating shoulders,
hungering for your flesh like a wild wolf
leaning over empty carcass,
you’re off searching unexplored cliffs,
climbing dangerous mountain tops,
capturing bumblebees in broken beer bottles for biology class,
pleasing plants, parachuting from clouds for fun.
In clouds you’re closer to life, nonsense,
a princess of absurdity, collector of dreams
and silent sounds.
In clouds you build your own fantasy, share it with select celebrities.
But till this captive discovers a cure for caring, a way of rescuing insatiable insanity,
or lives long enough to be patient in longing for you--you must be vigilant,
for with time snow will surely
blanket this warm desire.

-1975-


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Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa.

Demoms

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Contributor: Amanda Williamson

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I don’t understand how many times I have to tell you,
“no, I don’t like butter on my popcorn,”
for you to understand that
I don’t want my popcorn to have butter on it.

For my birthday you gave me a pie.
“I know you hate cakes,” you said.
Your lips curled into a bitter smirk.
It’s covered in pecans that look like dying roaches.
Did you forget that I’m allergic to pine nuts?

And I tell you that I want to go away
forever.
But you laugh, your voice a sickening combination of
Doubt and pessimism. Of cruelty and spite.

I don’t think you hear me when I ask,
“What is it like to jump off a cliff?”
Because you smile and say,
“Hopeful. All you can do is hope you have wings.”

And I wonder if demons have wings,
kind of like an angel’s.
Because haven’t you jumped before?
But you lived to push me over the edge today?
You must be a demon.


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Misted Desire

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Contributor: Ron Koppelberger

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Captivated by careful struggles, suave styles of
Ornamented device, desiring the sweet revolution
Of what becomes the breath of a misted rain, by
Devouring lines of what rests in the hold
Of a breeched calm, the passion of a forgotten obsession,
A love in hours of contrite delivery and prayers of youthful
Affection, an arousing seduction allayed by the dust of an
Ancient allure.


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I have been writing since I was eight years old. I have published in a variety of magazines and I love to see my work in print, especially if i can influence the reader to a moment in time, a thought, a feeling, perhaps a distant memory of something pleasant or inspiring. I hope you enjoy my work.

Penitentiary Mystic

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Contributor: David Rutter

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I never liked the word penitentiary
It suggests remorse
Which, in my case
Is laughably far from the truth

I remember the first time I saw you
The way your eyes implored mine
Couldn’t help but give away
The dark desire you kept hidden

I much prefer the term slammer
It’s so filled with brutal suggestion
Of how a person will be dealt with
If they decide to mess around with me

My next step was self evident
I was to act as your attendant
In realizing the malignant fantasy
You would never be able to voice

Even the shortening to pen is better
Suggesting a small enclosure
Overfilled with fat and stupid animals
In a Darwinian struggle for survival

You kept up the pretense
Crying in make believe terror
As I held his head between my rough hands
And twisted till I heard a sharp snap

Best of all, I think, is “up the river”
That one makes me laugh in my bed at night
Those three words just so perfectly describe
How I disposed of your husband’s body


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David Rutter is a Los Angeles based writer of poetry, fiction and theatre. This year his work has been published in Haggard & Halloo, The Wilderness House Literary Review, Subliminal Interiors, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Clean Sheets and The Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles. He is not writing a screenplay.

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