Friday, January 29, 2010

Hello, I saw your CL ad. My name is ---- and I am wondering if you wanted to having sex with my wife. I'll give you a quick story with the situation. I was injured about a year ago while working so I am not able to have satisfying sex. I had an intimate relationship with her... but cannot anymore. She has needs and desires I just can't do anymore. Don't get me wrong, we still love each other, but I want her to be content.

She is DD free, 26 and very intimate so you can see what my problem is. Hopefully you can help us. We're looking for someone who can come to our place (or she can come to yours) and be intimate with her on a good basis, no strings attached. I won't be around so it won't be weird haha. I have attached a picture of us. We are real... and are serious about this. We saw your post on the Chicago section, and we live near you.

I'll explain more but I'm at work right now. Please ONLY if you are interested, mail me back with just a yes. Again, only if you are interested. I appreciate it.

I live with my parents, Tom and Stephanie. Best, Colin James


In the early days
it was all urination
and defecation.
Later I sat for
a traveling portraiture artist.
He was more than
informative in his
explanations of
being drawn to the light.
"Good vs. Evil" he said.
His effeminate walk began
to look increasingly
like a moral compromise.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi --
please find two multi-part poems for your consideration.
Thanks for taking a look.

Howie Good

Howie Good

(after the writing of Geoff Dyer)

When we see birds
in the evening,

Camus said,
we always think of them

as heading home.
A white truck,

its lights blurring
through the rain,

is coming the other way.

Can you photograph
an orange in black-

The same person

appears in any number
of photographs,

even if it isn’t,
strictly speaking,

the same person.

Something was there
and no longer is.

The elevator door
will open again,

not on another floor,
but in another city.


Up a difficult stairway, it’s the new year, or nearly. I knock on the door of a strange apartment and ask the anxious man who answers if I live there. We’re like Biblical figures meeting by providence at a well. The effort to think clouds his face: the orgasm of a pig lasts 30 minutes; how long does death last? Down in the street, terrible dreams pass each other with a nod. I wouldn’t trust someone like me either.

At the reunion someone said someone was dead. I look in the mirror. A stranger’s face, pale and impassive, looks back. I should turn up the Bach sonata. I should set fire to the prairie. Every night I should lie down and travel out along the black branches of the interstate and return to the same address – a room full of light, bread and knife on the table, and a weepy bride shrouded in the glare of a sunny window.

I woke up speaking another language. At the store I couldn’t make myself understood. The aged stockboy backed away. The girl working the register shrugged. I started home, but cops were beating a man on the corner. It might as well have been the fall of France, or the day Sacco and Vanzetti were executed. The sky was the dismal gray of neglect. A street musician played the same song on his horn over and over. I also kept weeping. The border was near, sometimes in the guise of helpless firemen, sometimes in the guise of helpless fire.

The moon enters in a dark overcoat. What’s going on here? It’s possible to see the suicide in people’s faces, the slope of their shoulders, the way their clothing is worn, their gait. There are days – many, in fact – fingers drum impatiently on the roof. I spoke to the police about it. The stairs that lead up also lead down to an iron bed, rumpled sheets, a photograph of insomnia. Everyone is singing but me. I’m hunched over, tightening a screw with the edge of a dime. It does a bad job.

The tiny bird riding on my shoulder only uses words I haven’t ever looked up. Better to live life, I answer, than to write about it. I walk out of the room followed by the man Chekhov said we should hire to hit us with a hammer when we’re happy – and who has, of course, a face like trampled snow. If I turn this way, the sky appears barely mended. If I turn that way, the last few Jews in Krakow are hanging from lampposts. Everyone should listen to everyone the way a doctor wearing a stethoscope listens to a heart.

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 15 poetry chapbooks and the full-length book of poetry, Lovesick (2009). His second full-length collection, Heart With a Dirty Windshield, will be published by BeWrite Books.

Teddy, Teddy, Teddy,
Turning over in your coattailess grave,
Martha Coakley lost your Senate seat,
Although starting out an overwhelming fave!

Took the citizens for granted,
Failed to read the tea leaves of unrest,
How could Massachusetts go Republican?
So she didn't campaign her best.

Was it all about health care?
That Massachusetts plan, not so well loved,
Horror, should it go national,
Send a message, it doesn't fit US like a glove.

Or did the "dispatch" go beyond "Teddy's dream?"
The Dems, plenipotentiary no more,
Camelot's over; back to reality now,
The Kennedy mystique finally the lore of yore.

2008, not so much about Obama but CHANGE,
The electorate is fickle; he's had a year plus chance to deliver,
Welcome to the public service revolving door,
Voters are going to be quick to pull the trigger.

Fed up with the pork barrel miasma of "deals,"
Government giveaways to a favored few,
While the DOMECON's in the toilet, NEITHER party's entitled,
Democrats and Republicans will just alternate in the stew.

It's about "what have you done for ME lately,"
Pretty prose and pandering promises, just no longer enough,
These trying times call for swift action,
Meaty proposals, hold the "nutter 'n fluff."

As we approach the Civil War Sesquicentennial,
A nation divided, Black President aside,
Let's not tempt a "Haves vs. Have Nots" sequel,
Falling down on the world stage, nowhere to hide our slide.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Monday, January 25, 2010

Joseph Reich: is a social worker who works out in the state of Massachusetts: A displaced New Yorker who sincerely does miss diss-place, most of all the Thai food, Shanghai Joe's in Chinatown, the fresh smoothies on Houston Street, and bagels and bialy's of The Lower East Side. He has a wife and handsome little son with a nice mop of dirty-blonde hair, and when they all get a bit older, hope to take them back to play, to pray, to contemplate in the parks and playgrounds of New York City.
He has had works which have appeared or forthcoming in such literary journals as, "Poesy," "Dispatch Detroit," "Falling Star," "Color Wheel," "Bareback," "And Then," "Grafitti Rag," "Main Street Rag," "Bouillabaisse," "Decanto," "Rogue's Scholar," "Poetry Motel," "The Beat," "The Potomac," "Poetry Super Highway," "Panic Brixton Poetry," "Istanbul Literature Review," "The Taj Mahal Review," "Stirring," "Sugar Mule," "Juked," "No Record," "Inscribed," "Glass: A Poetry Review," "CC & D," "Down In The Dirt," "Ascent Aspirations," "Right Hand Pointing," "Why Vandalism?" "The Cerebral Catalyst," "Cause & Effect," "Subtle Tea," "Yippie," "ESC! Magasine," "The Oak Bend Review," "Opium," "Problem Child," "Sein Und Werden," "Denver Syntax," "Paradigm," "Paradigm Shift," "Mad Swirl," "Houston Literary Review," "Words-Myth," "Literary Mary," "Side Of Grits," "Gloom Cupboard," "Motel 58," "Cherry Bleeds," "Poet Works," "Jukebox," "Neonbeam," "Burning River," "Third Wednesday," "The Philosophical Society Of England," "Gold Dust," "The Battered Suitcase," "The Iguana Review," "Spot Literary Journal," "Breadcrumb Scabs, "Semaphore," "The Delinquent," "SALit," "The Wichita Falls Literature & Arts Review," "42 Magazine," "Ottawa Arts Review," "Mirrors Magazine," "Puffin Circus," "The Shout," "Going Down Swinging," "Scawy Munstur," "River Poet's Journal," "The Hudson View," "Shoots And Vines," "The American Drivel Review" "Muton" "Suison Valley Review," "The Stray Branch Literary Magazine," "Unfeigned Coffee Fiend," "Grey Sparrow Press," "Viola Beadleton's Compendium," "Low Fidelity," "Blinking Cursor," "Nibble," "Wilderness House Literary Review," "Haggard & Halloo," "Verse Wisconsin," "Audience," "Work Literary Journal" "Gutter Eloquence," "Midwest Literary Magazine," "Front Range Review," "The View From Here," "Lowestoft Chronicle" "The Other Herald," "Zocalo Press," chapbook, "If I Told You To Jump
Off The Brooklyn Bridge (Flutter Press), book, "A Different Sort Of Distance" (Skive Magazine Press) and recent book of poetry, entitled, "The Derivation Of Cowboys & Indians" (Poet Works Press)

The Light Which Creeps Through Curtains

i used to once used to know this girl this lady this woman this mother whatever you'd want to call her who was so nice and kind and hard on herself so obsessive compulsive when she vacuumed would try to vacuum up the sun right off the floor spilling thru her window & would go over it again & again & again & again until she was convinced& sure it was all gone & it was all very subtle solemn yet also quite troubling& unsettling while in many ways kind of beat & beautiful as if literally going through the motions going through these routines& rituals these selfsame machinations would trigger some kind of break through an escape from the everyday state she found herself in maybe even liberation a redemption or even revelation as if going through the motions she was magically trying to make some sense some thing positive productive out of it even some thing pleasant & radiant

out of all the things all the shit which had turned on her witch had turned cold & mean & callous & indifferent conflicted absurd & ridiculous out of all the damage all the pain inflicted all the lost dreams & dashed hopes all the sadness & sorrow & betrayals & broken promises all that which had been promised her (or in many ways not if that makes any sense at all) & would do all this all the way from day to dusk until she was sure everything & everyone was good & gone all done in a nice & neat controlled manner repetitive pattern draped& wrapped in a perfect little package her emotions & the madness behind stained glass curtains like everything else which had faded had faded away & faded off the dreams & the dust all stored up hoarded for no particular reason the hyperbole of loneliness of what it feels to be lost & abandoned done wrong in this absurd & abstract psalm this long gone song how we try to get along get on how we try to function in this bizarre thing we pathetically practically strangely somehow like to address & refer to as living as being as resembling something like the forgotten dream of existence.

The Supersaturation Level

the suburbs really are the land of the lost the land of the petty and trivial the land of the unusual usual the land of the rumor (land of the lawnmower) the land of the literal literally lacking in humor the closed-minded and insular the exact nature and derivation to the configuration of superstition the everything-must-go all-you-can-eat couple codependent addicted to gadgets and gizmos the still life going through the motions the quiet desperation turning from psychotropic to suicide ideations their false expressions and body language their first impressions and last impression which simply leads to a whole hell of a lot of blandness of mediocrity and resentment of passive-aggressive dysfunctional acting-out and role-playing in a no man's land of reactive-formation their routines and rituals become their religion their compulsion to one up their neighbor which becomes a part of and permeates the rotten core of their character their hallelujah higher-than-holy hypocritical version of happily-ever-after their obsessive he-said she-said which negatively niggardly helps them move ahead their mechanisms and contraptions of mediocrity and self-importance their not returning of phone calls their soulless souls their know-it-alls who don't know a thing at all smug and sure shallow and superficial their ridiculous forms of brainwash until they really got you believing in not believing in yourself fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecy of some now you see 'em now you don't which keeps on building up building up and building up like exactly everything they taught you in 7th grade chemistry about the concept of supersaturation and if you add just one more particle how it will all break downand fall to the bottom knew one day i would be able to ascertain and apply all these scientific theories and principles to the absurd nihilistic palpable conscious core of everyday existence and upon further reflection can even understand why i spent a majority of my formative years in detention hall you wait as always for the rain to fall.

A Rather Bizarre Geological Hx Of America

tonight while my wife was kicking me out of our room cause she was watching the golden globe awards and borrowing one of her bananas i told her i refused to leave unless she told me Beethoven’s favorite fruit she of course said no i won't and went back and forth in one of our classic comical power-struggles until i got her to say begrudgingly against her will ba-na-na-na! she said it was awful and likened it to having to go to the grand canyon every year and hold onto her mom's hand and i said yeah kind of like niagara falls and when i left her in the flashing technicolor hanging and drying her newly shampooed ponytail over her pillow she said give me back my banana and went downstairs to open the refrigerator to take out some diet dr. thunder to watch the denver nuggets take on the utah jazz and man can't tell you how much i hate when teams do shit like that like move from new orleans to utah and don't even have the gall or gumption or even for that matter the where with all i mean in america is all it is about is business and don't even have the respect or sensitive and social significance to not even think of changing names from the new orleans jazz to the utah jazz i mean dang how many times have you caught a really great jam out around salt lake city mean they close down everything by 8:30 i mean even in the mad cold hills of midnights of montana when they do final call they'll even pour your beer in a nice plastic cup on the go for the road to wash down your corn dog as you watch carmelo drive and drain and take it to the hole.

Daze Of A Runaway

the creek
brings credence

clarity self-awareness
and real overall objective
perception and judgment

(something you will never ever
get if your life depended on it

from mankind
human nature)

something you learned sitting all day
on the outskirts of reno contemplating

alone on the truckee river
below heaps of holy hills

of used car lots & cactuses
crosses & campaign slogans

patient pensive
& introspective

all beautifully strangely
strung together

conflicted between image and
edifice and what they represented

returning home when the sun
went down and blank faded bulbs

took form and naturally flushed and
fluttered their bold letters on casinos

past old knitted women clumped together
walking their dogs for the sake of obedience

and lit lonely windows
of alcoholic anonymous

the bums of the mission
the dog races

and pawnshop owners removing guitars
& promise rings from display windows

while the loud and obnoxious
tag team of tourists came out

flashing their fangs
and classless clout

and you returned silent with head bowed
back to your beat down motel at the end

of the tracks of the
burlington northern

forlorn yet
never defeated

just trying to get along
just trying to make it...


Something In A Day

i slept on the wrong side of the bed
on the wrong side of my head

yet still miraculous yet
how seagulls wail in wind

on my desk...
aspirin, allergy medication,
old mugs of coffee, which
one to choose from?

dog walks in
with a grin

on the side of the refrigerator
receipt reads "wolf's den boiler burner service"
flyer for "stormy day procedures for parents and families"

night before holding onto son
rocking him on his rocker
and pushed my nose
hair right back in

on the subject of marriage...

today erica and i were having a deep discussion on tuna...
she's a bit of a tuna addict and even growing up in the bronx
had the habit and christened her with the nickname of hot tuna
because she loved it and suppose she's hot so much so when
i exposed her to different parts of the world she felt the need
and compulsion to sample tuna from all over from switzerland
to barcelona to the jewish quarter in sevilla to italia even the greek
islands and today in the late afternoon early dusk having absolutely
nothing to talk about asked her what was up with the ones they called
fancy albacore like do they live in special zip codes? provided and afforded
the opportunity for a better and more exclusive education? considered more
cultured and elevated? on a different level of socio-economic class and status?
more privileged and entitled? and when the fishermen catch them going out on
one of their very dangerous excursions and snatch them up and seperate
and divide them do they simply stop and put hands to face and point
and melodramatically exclaim o my gosh! that's definately a fancy
albacore! that one's gonna have to be in water that one in oil...

you start to think that you want to listen
to that one real true blue sportscaster

who takes everything personally
is hypersensitive and defensive
and always gets confrontational
and throws out ultimatums or
threatens to kill himself with
multiple personality disorder
and freaks out whenever
gets mentioned making
a name for himself...

couple versions of t.s. eliot

yo! yo! yo!
the women come and go
rapping of michael angelo

think he would have
loved austin

catching up with friends
from a long long long
time ago somewhere
back there in childhood
who turn out now
are investment
bankers as back
then the biggest

wild out of control
delinquents who
walked the face
of the planet
used to make
it a tradition to
always get us into
brawls and rumbles
behind movie theaters
get busted by dramatic
mothers who discovered
their drug lists of friends
who owed them dough
chased regularly by cops
during recess through
ball fields and crashing
with stolen cars through
fences fathers used to
always threaten were
gonna send to reform
school and apparently
from what the records
state just purchased
an estate out in
bedford hills, ny
for 4 million
dollars father
still the same
and still
the same
brothers and

sisters you
grew to love
and grew quite fond
of and still somehow
find myself very happy
for him as we used
to always say
how we felt
lucky and
that we
even made
it past the
age of 18

i want to date one of those
white suburban ladies or moms
who spends her days ripping off stores
think that would be a fine way to spend my day...

looking up villas
on the italian riviera
lugia, ballero, for when
i strike it big, even if i don't

if i do the first thing i'll do
will be to get a couple fresh
bagels with nova and fresh

veggie cream cheese with
the big chunks in it

then park my car
by the sea
listening to
sports radio

later on for the night
tangerine chicken
or a little bit up
the highway
the cape
you get
that great
pad thai

gaining great pleasure
in repairing some of
the tree house

which fell
down in
the wind

a sort of redemptive quality
for all that shit all neighbor's sins

might inspire me to go out
to pick up a couple old
fashions fresh-cut

donuts on route 6
that doesn't accept
credit cards just cash

(i hate those people who have turned
indifferent all for the sake of attention
just a really poor pathetic excuse
and an even worse off institution)

out here they seem to take great pride
in their lawn and landscaping even
more than being nice to a neighbor
or kind to a stranger and may even
look at you cock-eyed offended
insulted if you look anywhere
in their direction almost as if
erecting their own little private
shrines and museums and
mausoleums and monuments
have even seen some of them

putting up plaques in front
of their houses to remind
everyone (to remind
themselves) of who
they are literal legends
of the mind perfect little
caucasian white saints alive?

want to do a nice exchange between those really annoying
middle-aged flabby blabbering ladies who do infomercials at
3 in the morning (stealing all the money of hard-working hygienists)
and the ones who do the porno; don't think it would be too far of a stretch...

an aphorism...

the only thing i find people to be consistent
at is being flakes and fuck-ups and
not returning phone calls (like some
sort of passive-aggressive borderline
show) where they somehow (make)
believe this makes them original

don't know never quite bought into that...

one needs enough money to travel...

aphorism #2

you learn from a hell of a lot of tough living and experience,
sorrow and suffering, and the contradictory and self-interested
frequent rude and vulgar nature of human nature and 'meanies'
that freedom, independence, and autonomy are the three most
important things towards functioning contented, happily, and within
the overall and basic fundamental realm of being and harmony, and
will do almost anything humanly possible, often even sometimes not
so human (as they are not too human or as nietzche said 'all too human')
deemed necessary towards anyone or anything, or symbol and form who makes
the effort to try and (make me conform) and take away or steal my ability to live,
coexist and thrive with kindness, compassion, self-respect and dignity in this life

in the middle of my stairs
i holler to my wife–"i love you!"
seems just as valid if not much much
more than anything else in this world

someone keeps on pulling that dangling
traffic light chord in the back of my skull

i trust far more the bad judgment of children

...ghosts have arrived way too early

[how to: make meringues
mend a broken heart
still have not found a cure
to the common cold apparently
not really that common at all]

new old beatles songs i have recently
fallen in love with once more while
listening with my son to
yellow submarine

1. lonely people
2. when i'm 64
3. it's only a northern song

frankenstein breathing heavily in the closet
honey you're snoring kept me up all night!

hey where do we keep that tiny spoon
for the bitter herosis for passover?
how do i keep on losing my belt?

do we carry our dx
with us to the afterworld?

or does it simply trail off
like hansel & gretel's breadcrumbs
fairydust, the remains of sloppy joe

seagulls back for their final round
and then disappear in the misty fog
to their dusky destination on the ocean

i wonder what the scores will be
later on in the night between
chicago and st. louis

giants at candlestick...

The Moon Which Refused To Move ~pitch for a children's story

1. a crescent moon on the loose still lying on the ground bunched in backyard
in a pile of scattered leaves in the morning and all day and noon as if it forgot
or couldn't find it's way back up to the sky and as much as this family tries
to get it up or get rid of it they cannot

2. trying to rake it up or sweep it up with a broom

3. some old maid tossing big soapy pails of water on it
even whipping out a thrasher to try and thrash it

4. old women from the beekeeping association trying to nab it with their butterfly nets

5. old men from some sort of audubon society very precisely looking down on it with their

6. some young man in thick five-o'clock shadow and towel trying to shave to it

7. old gardeners pathetically absurdly trying to use some sort of leaf blower

8. look around befuddled and bewildered in denial and put a wheelbarrow on top of it

9. engineers pulling out all their different kinds of equipment
levels sledge hammers trying to measure it with a tape measure

10. boys on hands and knees as if trying to shoe it away as if playing marbles

11. little girls gathering around with their little chairs and little tables
and stuffed animals and having a tea party

12. the dog barking at it

13. bringing in a snake charmer in a turban

14. an eccentric father pulling on his bathing cap trying to swim over it

15. very serious and earnest men in tuxedos romantically playing violin

16. old timers trying to ballroom dance even tap dance with top hats and tails and canes on it

17. and then everyone just happily accepting it standing in their windows
silhouetted watching day turn to dusk to night lowering their blinds

18. cut to image of the crescent moon just sitting their
beaming solitary by itself getting brighter and brighter

I feel that poetry should be felt. It is a piece of the author that he or she is choosing to share with the world. As such, I believe that there aren't any rules with it. Anything goes. My submissions below reflect that. They reflect my inner struggle with articulation my love, frustration, and fascination with the world. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Robin E. Regan


With one click of my thumb
I'm well on my way to oblivion.
Where everything falls away and
electrified tingles replace the wall of fear
that everyday..races across my skin.

I can feel my blood slow down,
but my body keeps going.
It hurts.
Like inertia.
Like a driver speeds because he forgets
that his body is speeding too.
That the 100 miles per hour on the dial
is the speed at which the heart burns in time.
Such a crime.
Like a gamble with a red light
and as sure to crash.

I feel like I am the engine and someone
else is driving and
cars are lining up behind me;
honking their horns of dissension
for more attention.
And I'm scratching to the rhythm of their
I'm keeping with 'em
but I am defenseless once they get restless.

I can speed up only to run into a wall
but I'm keeping pace with it all.
I'm destined to trip and fall
because nobody wants to wait for me.
They are carried on by the throngs drunk
on movement.
All I can do is smile in silent amusements
and carried away and hope where I land
is an improvement from where I started.
All reason has departed my marrow
and my tunnel vision makes me far sighted,
and the world has narrowed.

Like the square peg in the round hole,
I'm stuck with nowhere to go.
Inertia in my blood stutters the flow
shuddering muscled hug my bones
coupled with tendons prepared for the crash they
know is rolling
forward on a crash course toward them.

Involuntary muscle spasms like miniature
orgasms in my legs welcome pain.
Counting backward from two thousand nine hundred and forty three
to try to fall asleep but failing miserably.
It's like time is fluid,
protecting me from hurting myself on real life.
It's so easy to do it.
Watch this life fly by
and just wave to it.
Because time flies when you're on the run,
tying to take the hill when you're out-gunned.


I always knew I was different.
Every time she'd come near me
my heart'd beat like the pitter patter
of little feet;
down a dark hallway,
reverberating off of my lonely
inability to understand who I'm
supposed to be.
With every push to be the plastic
wrapped and packaged version of me,
I shoved deeper into myself
to the back of the shelf because
when push comes to shove
love isn't blind to everyone else.

I'm not for sale but I'm ON sale
because I'm defective
I'm infected with thoughts of my own...
going once...going twice....

Pretty on my pedestal
with a painted on smile
as pink as my cheeks
struggling under the weight of my secret.
The deepest desire to reach out and touch her
radiates from my toes,
but I'm strapped to my little box
and the bonds rub me raw.

I can only watch as she walks by
and feelings I don't understand
churn inside
and fall down my face for all to see.
But my tears swim upstream
to try to hide back behind my eyes
because pretty things don't cry.

I always knew I was different.
I never really fit into the box I'm packaged in.
Silence is a good color on me.
Quiet confusion,
slightly obscuring
the recurring loneliness
that walks along the streets with me.

I'm different like the black cat in a white litter.
I give people the jitters.
Superstitions and stereotypes
label me as evil,
but the hype isn't real.
I bleed...I love...I feel.

I've fought too long against close minded resistance.
I need to break through the walls of my cage,
wipe the tears from my face and find the words to
say to help me tap into my rage.

Keep your pretty pink pedestal
and your ruffled petite parasols.
I reject it all
and my bitter resentment tastes
better when used to amplify my call
to arms.
I'm throwing myself in harms way
because today is the day you will taste my rage.

Breaking through the shadowy ruse
and slap cruelty with a b***h slap backhand
that reverberates off of the walls
amplified by years of suffering under a culturally
enforced gag order.

I have found my voice,
oh yes,
and you best believe
I'm not anything like what
you thought I would be.

They say beauty is only skin deep
but her beauty suffocates me,
making my heart pitter patter like
little feet and this time
I won't suffer silently.

Luminescent Butterflies
Poetry belongs with melody married
in a ceremony of harmony
where cadence and flow
sign the guest book
because someone took
the chance to live free and let go
popped the cork and let the words flow
out of my pen
like water from a busted dam.

The words dance behind my eyes
like luminescent butterflies
so I reach up high
and pluck them from the sky.
I sit and smile as I write
at my minds appetite;
gobbling up the words with reckless delight.

Welcome to the verbal web
that tangles in my head
where words fly around unkempt
and fail at every attempt
to land in my outstretched hands.
It's a game of chance
Can you learn to dance...
and tame the words today?
Can you gather all the strays
and get them to stand up straight
and come out and play
without flying away?
Some days,
it works out O.K.
Other days, it blows up in your face.
You just have to wait...and see
in this game called poetry.

I'm not a poetic mastermind.
I don't have brilliant lines
that will be remembered for all time.
But I stand behind my words.
I wear them like my favorite shirt,
out there for all to see.
Each line is a piece of me.

Strung Out

I've got an addictive personality
and I have been feelin' addicted to
you lately.
Your smell.
Your touch.
Your taste.
You're like angel dust fallen from heaven.
I stick out my tongue to catch a piece of
you and bring you into my body,
so that you can race through and strum
every one of my nerve endings.

My skin ripples and the hair
on the back of my neck stands at
attention when my nose catches your
Smells like sugar and sex.

My tongue flicks in and out across my lips
tasting the air for traces of you.
Hunting you down by your heat,
like a heat seeking missile.
Chasing with an intensity raging from
the part of my brain that remembers how
your skin tastes....
like sugar and sex.

I'm strung out on you.
I can feel you inside of me every time
I move.
Pieces of you are under my skin.
If I dig deep enough,
maybe I'll be able to find them.
Pieces of you are under my fingernails.
Maybe I can scrape them out and inhale you.
If I can just open a vein....
maybe I can...-

Happiness is a Warm Gun

You're beautiful like
the brilliant shine of a sharp knife,
so sharp I don't feel the stinging pain of the blade right away.
But later, the dull ache
rears its ugly head,
grinding into my back teeth.

You're like a drug for me.
but you feel so good in my blood.
Searching for my next fix.
I have to close my eyes,
so I don't have to see myself in the mirror
as I breathe you into me.

And I can feel you grab my hand,
as we dance on the way to my brain,
making me forget for a little while that I am insane.
Hand in hand,
we spin around,
with my heart dragging the ground,
behind me.

But just like any high,
I start to come down and realize
that I despise your feral smile
because it only comes around when I cry.
But it's your eyes that keep me coming back every time.

They remind me of a time
when I could smile
without a reason,
just because I was happy.
I'm committing treason
against my better judgment,
and playing traitor to reason,
as I suffer through your moods that change with the seasons.

Our love isn't true,
but it's comfortable.
I'm nothing to you if not disposable
and my addiction to you is uncontrollable,
but you control me easily
with your charm and wit,
or the crush of your fist.
You twist my arm behind my back,
hold my nose
and tilt my head,
as you breathe in the same poison that knocked out three
of my teeth,
right after you said you loved me.

All good things must come to an end,
for some,
happiness is a warm gun.

Plea for Insanity

can't hold them back any longer,
they are just so much stronger,
than me.
I rage in my cage and scream,
to get away before they swallow me.
I beg and plea for help
but they all think I'm crazy,
and line up in front of my cell,
to point and laugh at me,
but they can't see,
how hard they fight to get free.
all hell with be unleashed,
but people refuse to help me.

They scratch at my brain from the inside,
and I can't block out their howling cries.
They live behind my eyes,
and I am their disguise.
The only time I smile,
is when they think up something vile,
my brain is no longer mine;
It's the only matter of time.

Would you take pity on me,
would you set me free,
if I told you I couldn't control
what is inside of me?
At least put me out of my misery.
It's the only way to set me free,
from the demons that haunt me.

My screams are choked short in my throat,
to keep my pills silent company,
I have lost all hope,
please get this evil out of me.

What have I done to deserve this,
why do they haunt me still?
Please make this stop,
end my life or I will.
Dear Mr. Logan,

Please find below six poems ("In Tension", "Seeking Seminal Soulmate", "Playing Musical Chairs", "Hunt", "Unveiling the Skin", "Bearings") per your request for inclusion in the Featured Writers section of the Spring issue of (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.

Most of the pieces exceed the 10-line limit stipulated in your listing in 2010 Poets Market. Please let me know if these meet your expectations or if you would prefer a selection of alternates from which to make further choices.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am thrilled to join in this venture with you.

Best regards,

Janann Dawkins

In Tension

She thinks the neck is so special
then considers what it is: the vaunt
of the body, evolutionarily
sound. Windpipe, jugular,
vertebrae. Highway of veins.
Cross-sections. Fibres. The way
a yell comes out, makes itself plain,
splats against a wall. Then, by extension,

she thinks of the regular
wheeze and sighs of her aunt,
whose throat had eerily
decompressed to the bone, a mansion
of cells rock-hard and interstitial.
She thinks of ineluctable things yet to say.

Seeking Seminal Soulmate

She wipes and finds a Rorschach of blood, a red-feathered dove
in a paper-white sky, and ponders another wasted child,
microscopic, honeycombed in sanitary crevices. Another moon,
another flood lines the white islet with sanguinous silt.
She surrenders her tissue to a redolent sea, saltwater slicked
by sunset, and considers, after folding her napkin,
flotsam on the crest of a wave.

Playing Musical Chairs

The wait to hand me off. I consider saying--
je ne sais quoi. It shouldn't be like this:

two women with miles of wire running
under the earth, two women with a brother-

husband between them. It should be ice cream,
the kind your children, my nieces,

will soon swallow. Wish them happy birthday
I inhale to speak, but even those words

stitch to the tongue. Background
squeals heighten our silence,

our laughter at eavesdropped hi-jinks
a sad exchange. My mention of your new job

resembles a noisemaker; your rejoinder
sounds the same: we choose

our stances carefully. Beyond our coil, I hear
that voice over the galloping gaggle, announcing

the rules for two girls in the same seat.
He has to start the music again.


They spotted the leg chains
shining in a January snowbank
speckled with mud. The Os
reflected alternating blue
and red against the metal skyline.

Nearby lay the roadblock.
Cars crept through the serpentine,
drivers second-shifters
who'd no idea an orange jumpsuit
was loose in the area

catercorner to the county jail,
probably bobbing in the evergreens
of a notorious complex--probably
from where he spawned. Perhaps he felt
like a salmon, cursing the steady stream

of officers and reporters, eddies
rerouting his escape. Above,
helicopters sought brilliant prey.

Unveiling the Skin

Plucking was backwards
braiding: the twillish feathers
thick between the fingers,
quilled like plastic embedded in hair--
white hair, as though an elder’s head
in the grip of a gallant marauder.
My hands hooked through, black
among a flock of white, slaves
culling tufts of cotton.
I pinched the headless leghorn
between my knees, pricking skin
into existence: bald abrasions,
pinkness stripped by will
and wrist. My shadow loomed.
This girl would be nude by sunset.


Appalachian, absolutely
not. Nothing, not nearly
anywhere as where we are.
We stand on nothing, where

tribes stepped footprints
into trails. Trial and error,
weed wires snag ankles
like botanical traps

Friday, January 22, 2010

Poetry Editor
(A Brilliant) Record Magazine

Dear Poetry Editor:
Enclosed are six poems (Free Entertainment, Coyotes, Oak Pollen, Ragweed, Sparrows, Falcons ) I am submitting for your consideration for publication in (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.

Below is a brief biography:
A native of Tidewater Virginia, Richard (Dick) Peake has become a Texas resident since retirement from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He began writing poetry while an undergraduate, won the Mary Cummings Eudy poetry award, published poems in and became poetry editor of The University of Virginia Magazine. He has published poems in Impetus alongside John Ciardi and Hollis Summers as well as in The Georgia Review and other journals. Collections of his poetry include Wings Across… and Poems for Terence published by Vision Press, which also included poems of his in A Gathering at the Forks. He published further poetry in Birds and Other Beasts in 2007. During 2008 and 2009 he won a number of awards from the Gulf Coast Poets and The Poetry Society of Texas. His poems were published in Sol Magazine, Jimsonweed, and Shine Journal and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Richard H. Peake

Free Entertainment

The great-tailed grackle irritates many sensitive folk
who think his harsh cacophony and vainglorious strutting gross,
yet they will pay large sums for circuses to see the clowns.
Mockingbirds and yellow-breasted chats keep light sleepers awake
as they serenade all night when the moon is full and they guard nests,
but what a boon these singers give to tired somnambulists.
Musicians who persist in practicing to perfect their sound
long into the night sometimes also find their audience hostile,
so they should cite bird song to justify their persistent art.


Coy animals slip into our lives
often, uninvited and unwanted
yard scavengers
only because we offer food
too plentiful to refrain from eating—
cats and kittens and food set out
so temptingly few coyotes can refuse.

Oak Pollen

Our old white oak
announces spring with pollen
keeping our walkways yellow
to annoy me as I clean,
red-eyed and sneezing frequently,
earnestly wishing
early fall and mast crop.


Really tall and delicately leaved
are the herbs I hate
growing in my yard
without regard for my allergy.
Eagerly I pull and cut them
every time they appear
doing their best to thwart me.


Some people think sparrows dull
pallbearers of weed patches.
After hearing field sparrow song
rise over a summer meadow
really unfeeling folk
often exclaim and give sparrows
wild unstinting acclaim.


Fast flight on narrow wings
attests the warlike prowess of its stoop
leaving us in awe of falcon force
conveying strength and skill
obeying hawk’s desire to eat—
necessity empowers death strike,
serves nature’s laws, the web of life.
Dear Godfrey Logan,

Hello! My name is Anthony F. Crisafi, and I am submitting some of my poetry for your consideration. Thank you for your consideration.

Anthony F. Crisafi

The Orange Blossoms of Cassadaga

When all I see is what is cold and lean,

The orange blossoms and all that suffer,

Become the fruit of green and tangerine,

Through the winter and through what is tougher.

And what I feel when all that freezes me,

When I come here and gaze and see your leaves,

Is all I need and what I long to be,

When what is new is what births forth from these.

Orange blossoms of Cassadaga, whose

Warmth moves in ease from green to tangerine,

And stretches sweetness by touching my lips.

Orange blossoms of Cassadaga, those

Whose winter wither is when first seen,

And love’s leaves fade when coldest winter whips.

The Myth of Achilles

You crashed onto the shores of destiny

With your armor ready,

your soul steeled in glory,

And three times you vanquished your fallen foe

In front of all who loved and knew him.

You were told you would never come home

But braved the peril of your shade for all eternity.

Your story is old and often related

As the example

Of true heroism,

Of true fortitude,

Of the greatest of men.

How you fought and sent many

Down to the house of Hades,

How you took the prize for your strength and your honor,

How you braved the odds and won the day,

Over and over again.

Your greatest feat, however,

Was not how many men you killed,

Or how many you loved,

Or how much gold

You stole. No: your greatest achievement

Was in your last act

Of humanity, being merciful

When you could have killed the old man,

When your anger was righteous

And you did the opposite.

But you lived in the age before you could know

Of grace and of redemption,

Before there was such a thing as forgiveness.

Now you are but a ghost of the past,

A shade of your former self,

The last vestige of the violence of men.

On Becoming a Man

What can I tell you about becoming a man,

About growing into your skin?

I am a child still in the middle of my years,

Still fumbling for words to describe my own self,

Still awkward and gangling when it comes to love,

When it comes to knowing the difference between

You and me. We have never been close, you and I,

Just like my father and me before,

Just like his father and him before,

I suppose. So what can I say about becoming a man?

I can say to you “Son, grow into yourself, be true

To your heart and be strong as the oak,

Be gentle as the lamb,

Be warm as the sun in the month of July.

And when you want to flee, when you want to fight,

When you want to destroy all that is in your heart,

Be opposite; be the very thing I have never been,

Be the example for me as well as for you.”

I could say these things, but, in the end, I

Have no words, I have no voice,

Because I have not yet become

The man you will someday.

To an Unknown Son

Your picture betrays who you really are,

I see in you all I was not. And I want to see

More of you than this image of me.

But you have never been any more

Than this photograph, than this mere reflection.

I see in you all I am not, a gentleness, a sensibility

Not a part of our kind. You are me from the past and

Me in the future: you and I, complete and whole.

Would it be different, I wonder, if you had been

Raised by my hand instead of by strangers?

Would you look innocent and young,

Or, as with all else, would you look so much like me

I would not recognize what may have been?

It will forever remain unknown, the mystery,

The greatest of all, of fathers and of sons.

forcing to come to terms with

the wavery awash in sippy steps

seranade to the ones

who longingly

and in cupped hands

pour into a lived up sparkler whirler

of a time which ate up logistics

and spit out verying

tippy toe happenings

allotted unto a caste in which

I bail out the salvageable

ackward shaped puzzle pieces

and illicit a mental overture

killing a shameless maiming

of volitile forms

in suspended animation

moving over to encumber

the sence to which

things will vibrate

show themselves

vacate and die

all at once

and sought to be hanging

end to end

on dingy hangnail

perilous cliffdrops

scourge to the apparently

vocalizing their fervent

turning away from outcropping

varitable opponent

tinman awakening

drippy drop spill over top

stop the dust filled clock

evaporate wildly

and turn on a dime

boisterous sand sorceror

sponging up and overtly

speaking in tongues

in a lively display

which caugfht vengance by surprise

and turned wandering roaming eyes

on their side

Christopher Seth

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I am aspiring to become established as a poet. I have written 84 books of poetry over the past several years and 15 novels; I have been submitting my work for the past year and am thrilled by acceptance. I am always looking for an audience, I have published 132 poems in a variety of periodicals.. I have been published in The Storyteller, Ceremony and Write On!! (poetry magazette). Also, I recently won The People’s Choice Award for poetry in The Storyteller with a poem called Secret Sash. I have been accepted in England, Australia and Thailand. I Love to write and offer an experience to the reader. I am a member of The American Poets Society as well as The Isles Poetry Association. I hope you enjoy my work.

The Spoils of Glass and Sand

The calm mistress of heed unhindered by the hold of charmed allusion and uneasy loves, filled his thoughts with the intrinsic need for gullied course, rabbit wills and hopping always, in secret chawing nibbles of grass. He watched the rabbit creep across the glenn and into the hidden copse near the west side of the gully. What of the contract, the promise for beacons and spotlights, sunshine and twilight, sylvan wilds and sand, endless eternal sand. What of the promise, “ To dust,” he whispered; just a phantasm of arranged fare, he thought. The promise………, he saw the spoils of sand to glass reflections in gathering temptation. Tempted to abide and willed to trust in the promise, he thought in furrowed scathless perfection. The promise and what was begat by the turn of tide, what nascent dreams and rushing rivers will, the promise to countries in ash and townships full of starvation; and what ails the healthy? The promise unto oblivion, except with the sunshine compliance of man and revolution. The promise to passage and resurrection’s devise. He sighed and smoked in lazy tendriled passion, a cool ambiance of tobacco and wanderlust. He looked at the rabbit……..” A full belly tonight” he said aloud, “ and tomorrow we reap the rewards of the hunt, the hunt for salvation in the face of bloated bellies and gaunt demeanors……., merely a rabbit, he thought.

Ron Koppelberger

Friday, January 8, 2010

Everyday Life: On Civility and Civil Rights

The Tuesday before New Year's Day was cold and windy. I had occasion to be at the Fairfax County (VA) Courthouse to do some filing for clients. Familiar with the drill, I brought nothing metallic into the building with me, such as a cell phone, so I was directed to the quicker, "coats open, hats off" line. As I approached the conveyor belt, a short, birdlike woman, sans any outerwear, literally swooped in front of me - and many others - from out of nowhere and placed her purse on the tray with my belongings. The attendant, who apparently had seen this happen before, responded to my appalled look with "you can share." But what I found most curious was this woman's fixed gaze; she did not engage anyone with her eyes, or otherwise. She behaved robotically and as if she saw no one, so, I guess, to her thinking, she wasn't "going to the head of the line." I'm sure she was an attorney, as am I, however that day, I came dressed for the walk and the weather - thick, quilted jacket, oversized, striped knit cap and heavy, red sweatpants tucked into more than one pair of long, bulky socks. I wasn't going to court. You couldn't miss me. I suspect that she didn't, but rather most likely assumed I was with the hoards headed to the morning sessions of traffic or criminal court, as a defendant. She judged me by my dress, felt superior, and disrespected accordingly.
Fast forward a few days. 1/1/10. New Year. And I thought I would begin it by doing my grocery shopping in the morning. Why not get it over with?! The weather was relatively mild, and colder temperatures and high winds were forecast for the next few days. The stores should have been close to deserted, with the crazies from the night before at home in their beds. They were, but I forgot about the Blue Moon.
As I was checking out at the Giant on Edsall Road in Alexandria, VA, the clerk had a problem scanning the two manufacturer's coupons I gave her for Dannon yogurt. After she left her station to consult with another cashier, the woman in line behind me decided to move into my space so she could lean on the checkwriting stand while talking on her cell phone. I got pushed further down the aisle, close to the end. I politely asked her to move back, at which point she launched into a tirade. She claimed I had touched and assaulted her. At most I had brushed her coat as I turned to ask her to step back. I had ruined her New Year's, she lamented loudly and repeatedly to whomever was on the other end of the phone conversation, as she threatened to "take it outside and punch the bitch out, old woman." I stayed silent until the clerk returned and then scurried out to my car as fast as my 55 year old, native New Yorker, sneakered feet could carry me. The hot air was still spewing from her mouth as I hit the cold of the automatic doors.
One more thing, she was Black. And screamed for all to hear that I would not have done what I did (and just what was that?!), if she wasn't. The stereotypical angry, entitlement attitude personified. I was embarrassed...for her.
As I was pulling out of the parking lot, the store manager chased me down. To apologize. She, too, was a Black woman, and the contrast in demeanor was striking. I assured her that I knew the incident was not her or the company's fault and thought that the customer was either probably still drunk from the night before or did not know how to conduct herself properly in public.
But both these incidents got me thinking...This month we celebrate not only the beginning of a new decade, but Martin Luther King's Birthday. For the 25th time as a Federal holiday. It has been almost twice that long since the inception of the social movements of the 1960s. Dr. King espoused non-violence and personal dignity. Freedom, but not to act like an asshole or perpetual victim. The Women's Movement parroted that, and was about liberating "the sisters" to be whoever they were and all that they wanted to and could be. Equality and camaraderie.
Roughly a year ago, we inaugurated a Black president. Whites will in the not so distant future become a minority in this country. So, why, in 2010, did a Black woman immediately play the race card and act like by asking her to step out of my way, I was sending Rosa Parks back to the back of the bus? And why did that White and better, but not weather appropriately, dressed woman at the courthouse so readily disregard me and many others by jumping to the front of the line?
Because race and social pecking order based on all that appearance conveys is still a problem. We still judge; we still all want to be top banana, or at least feel that in some aspect we are. Age in this society gets no respect. And God forbid we should forego instant gratification or have to wait our turn! Women are still more catty than supportive toward each other, apparently unable to suppress that biological imperative hardwired to compete for men. Over 150 years after the Civil War, some are still clinging to the legacy of slavery. Something to think about on January 18th...because based on just these two encounters, there is still much work to be done...and things have gotten far afield from the original modes and aspirations. Rudeness is not the route. It's time to put some civility back in civil rights. Let's make that Our Dream going forward as we attempt to solve the problems of US.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I am an award winning artist exhibiting in Chicago and Philadelphia and my writing has that immediate and visual aspect. My novel “Desert Flower” was called “ … innovative and original …” by Large Print Review and “…so skillfully devious it could have been written by Heinrich von Kleist two centuries ago in Germany.” by Kirkus Discoveries. My short story “Holy Night” received the Critic’s Choice Award in the Eric Hoffer Award competition and was published in Best New Writing 2007. My poems have been published in reviews such as Mobius, Willow Review, Waterways and Edge, and "(A Brilliant) Record," and my recent collection “The Time Hotel” was described by another Kirkus review as “… a deeply thought-provoking …compelling reading experience.” I paint and write expressions of humanity with the hope that I capture its dreams in the midst of adversity.

Rex Sexton


I pocket the fives, ones,
put the tens and twenties
in the duty booty.
Too good to leave behind,
I take my beer with me and
drink it in the alley.
Dissolving night over urban
blight, dawn pointing at the
“on the run” like a gun.
All over the Dead Zone the
junkies are searching the
catacombs for that breakfast
of champions hidden in the
Being, being, nothingness,
I close my eyes and down
my beer, feel the darkness
of the universe and all its
shadows disappear.


The room is like a coffin,
sleep a death-dream of
childhood delirium,
sweating, tossing, running,
hiding …
“Come in from the night.”
A voice says from behind a
door the kid has never seen before.
The night. The night.
Outside the sounds of the
dead zone abound: sirens,
gunshots, screams of terror.
“Come in from the night.”
The voice says.
Never never is the
ghetto’s answer.


Work comes harder while the pay gets
smaller and the hours longer.
If there’s one thing I learned by growing
older it’s my life went nowhere and it’s
getting shorter.
I lay down my shovel and pick up my
lunch pail. I search the towers, spires,
domes, silos, the docks, walks, doorways,
windows, every nook and cranny of the
industrial buildings, looking for suits,
white shirts, hardhats with clipboards,
snitches, rat-outs, lifers and squealers.
They are out there, everywhere.
I unscrew my ice cold thermos top, look
around again and take a pop. Cheers.


Better to blackout than be;
better the bottom of the bottle
than reality – dead end days,
sleepless nights. Why paint,
why write: about the old
lady in the alley asleep in a
doorway, the raggedy kids
playing in the gutter, their
families living in squalor,
the derelicts, lunatics, pimps,
pushers, muggers, killers,
the lost vet begging for cigarettes?
Scenes too real to find a refuge
in bookstores or museums,
amidst the soup cans and
American flags, and the golden
words penned for the aesthetic
ruminations of future generations.

Rex Sexton

Monday, January 4, 2010

Short bio: Holly Day is a journalism instructor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and two children. Her most recent nonfiction books are Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Walking Twin Cities. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Bottle, The MacGuffin, and Not One of Us.

A Little Opening


I woke to find the skin of my hand

had slipped off the bones and pooled

beside my head. My feet

are all bone now as well

one hard, yellow knob of a kneecap exposed.

I have begun painting my skeleton

color-coding the days as each piece

is laid bare. My right foot is blue. My left foot

and kneecap are both red for Tuesday.

My hand and part of my jawbone

Are emerald green.

I am saving the discarded flesh

to make into a dress, something for only

special occasions. The individual strips

are stretched out on a wire rack

in my refrigerator, where the milk

and the juice

used to go.

North Pole Dreams

little Eskimos everywhere


“please don’t squeeze the skunk!”

a kaleidoscope in shades of red

as seals were converted

to the religion of Nordstrom’s

and sent to Sax Fifth Avenue hell

a snow-white bear with a Santa Claus hat

breathed upon my neck

gave me goosebumps from here to there

then hit me ’til I was dead.

Boots XII

The small boy was lying in a pile of corpses.

Skin peeled away like the flesh of a potato.

Bombs set off just over the next hill, a sunset in the wrong direction.

Boots kicked the boy.

You will get a brief five minutes in a Time Life home video for this.

If your own child is born with no arms or legs, will it seem unfair?

Someday, reporters will ask you what you did during the war.

“Let’s play a game,” Boots said to the boy.

The child’s arms were around the waist of his mother.

The boy’s eyes opened as if in shock.

The child’s arms were around the waist of his mother.

Someday, this will all be washed away in Prozac numbness,
in the peace of a military nursing home.

In war, certain people become shining stars.

“You are not really dead.”

No blood poured from the black holes in the boy’s body.

The sharp metal of the razors sliced thin through the boy’s face.

The white of the little boy’s eyes stared straight at Boots.

The Party


in the closet

she pounds on the door

with her club-like hands

and tries to get out

fumbling with the door handle


in the kitchen

her brother

fixes the little finger sandwiches

for the soon-to-arrive


fat pig of a girl

sits crying in the corner

pictures herself

stretched out on the table

with an apple in her mouth


how long must we wait

for salvation to come

for fulfillment of the Revelation

for peace on Earth

for the first contact

with outer space

for the total destruction

of the human race

how long must we wait

how long can we wait

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...