Monday, May 30, 2011

"Fault Lines", an unpublished collection, examines the cracks, tears and jagged edges of the crumbling edifice of our world.

Poems from Fault Lines have appeared in: The Juke Jar, Pink Mouse Publications, The Recusant, Fullstop Literary Magazine, Six Sentences, Keep Going Magazine, Dark Sky Magazine, Lotus Reader Literary Magazine, Blink Literary Magazine, Keepgoing, The Scrambler, Secret Press Anthology, Quay, Over the Edge, Protest Poems, Driftwood Review, Literal Minded, South Jersey Underground, Heavy Bear, New Verse News, The Neglected Ratio, The Star Branch.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His chapbook 'Remembrance' was published by Origami Condom Press, 'The Conquest of Somalia' was published by Cervena Barva Press, 'The Dance of Hate' was published by Calliope Nerve Media, 'Material Questions' was published by Silkworms Ink, 'Dispossessed' was published by Medulla Press and 'Mutilated Girls' is being published by Heavy Hands Ink. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.


When fossil fuel is exhausted
and the forests are depleted,
we will hulk by imaginary fires,
prisoners of feeble memories,
until our last indulgences
have been extinguished

You Can't Go Home Again

Be it hours or minutes passing
encased in soaring plane
through the dark night we go
in the unrevealing sky
suspended above the earth
bound for undesired destination
that once smashed childhood illusions,
made more distasteful
by imagination.

Last Chance

Before we have a great fall
from careless and greedy abuse
of our fragile eco-system
that cannot endure
the endless assaults
on the air, water,
the food supply,
there may be a chance
to regenerate the earth,
if we begin

Three Rueful Songs

From the depths of self-revulsion
praise to the love of woman, praise
that we forgot in selfish days
spent in spasms of convulsions.

Women who have loved us in their ways
a moment or longer with bodies, thoughts,
for any reason, so many days,
never getting more than fragments.

Too busy with tomorrows
that we fear we'll never make,
we cannot ease your sorrows
as we watch you slowly break.


Our often songless tongues
are quick to utter despair,
on tortured days that pass
without a moment's ease
from tormenting thoughts
of what we did or did not do,
which we're destined to endure
for our remaining days

Gary Beck
Defining Moment
By Janet Yung

The cuff tightened around her arm as the nurse pumped the balloon. Libby watched from the corner of her eye, trying to see how high the numbers would go before they came to a stop. Like hoping the metal tab on the scale would rest at an appropriately low number or the right balls would bounce out on the weekly lottery drawing.
“Okay,” the nurse said as she undid the Velcro, jotted some numbers in her chart and left telling Libby the doctor would be in shortly. She should calculate the number of minutes she’d spent waiting, watching one day move into the next adding up to weeks, months and years. Waiting for the defining moment of her life.
“You won’t live forever,” her grandmother told her one evening seated on the front porch of the old frame house. Libby had loved the front porch where she’d watch the summer come to an end, the chains on the swing squeaking. “I need to have your father oil that thing,” her grandmother said.
Libby wrapped her sweater tighter around her shoulders, listening to the trains a few blocks away. She loved the sound they made in the night as she fell asleep in the tidy upstairs bedroom she inherited when her parents moved into the house. If only I could bundle up this moment forever, she’d think right before going inside, getting ready for bed and slipping beneath the crisp white sheets and worn quilt.
Feet scurried down the hall and she strained to hear the voices in the next room. Her doctor’s distinctive voice came through the wall. It sounded as if he were on the phone. One sided, it didn’t make much sense but she’d been an incurable eavesdropper her entire life.
Seated in the dining room at Famous Barr on Saturday afternoon, she held the pieces of her club sandwich in her hands, mouth open for the first bite. “He’s never been good to her.” Libby slowly chewed her food, her ears perked up with the salacious bit of gossip she anticipated to follow.
“It isn’t polite to listen to other people’s conversations,” her grandmother leaned towards her, the statement delivered in a low voice.
“Huh?” Libby managed, sandwich filling her cheeks, torn between ignoring the comment or talking with her mouth full.
“You know what I’m talking about.” Her grandmother tapped her spoon against her coffee cup and took a drink, watching Libby over the rim. For a moment, conversation at the next table stopped, but then resumed.
“We’ll keep in touch,” Dr. Baker said. Or, maybe it was “well, keep in touch.” Two entirely different meanings. Was he brushing somebody off because they failed to follow his orders or suggestions or was he showing his concern?
From her perch on the examining table, staring through the window, Libby had a clear view of the parking lot, watching a few old codgers headed towards the building. The patients seemed to be getting older. Some were pushing walkers.
It was easier to listen to their conversations because they talked louder and seemed eager for an audience. They’d talk to the nurse in the outer office while she scheduled their next appointment, telling her about their kids or grandkids or how they couldn’t figure out statements from the insurance companies and wasn’t it a pity doctors didn’t make house calls anymore. The nurse would smile and nod patiently as if she really cared. Libby would never discuss important things with strangers. She’d reserve that for the people who cared.
“The people who care,” her grandmother said, “are the ones who matter most.” Libby would agree although she had no idea what it meant. “Someday, you’ll understand,” and Libby was left thinking someday might never come.
She checked her watch. She’d been in the examining room twenty minutes. She should’ve brought a magazine from the waiting room. It sounded as if Dr. Baker had left his office. He must be at the nurses’ station, studying her chart before coming in.
Libby stretched out on the table, staring at the holes in the tile ceiling. She’d never liked the drop ceilings and fluorescent lights. They made everything ugly, especially her. She closed her eyes. She could almost fall asleep except for anxiety gnawing at the back of her brain. Take a deep breath, she reminded herself.
Her grandmother had Boston ferns. They hung from hooks on the front porch in the summer time and were brought into the house before the first frost. One rested on a plant stand in her bedroom in the bay window overlooking the front lawn. It would shed withered fronds throughout the winter and Libby imagined it looked longingly through the glass, anticipating spring and summer when it would be liberated.
All the ferns died when her grandmother did. Not exactly at the same time. It was a slow process. Her mother had a brown thumb and although she tried to follow Libby’s grandmother’s directives of how they should be cared for, nothing seemed to work. They either received too much sun or water or not enough. “I don’t know what I’m doing wrong,” Libby’s mother moaned as the last one was dumped in the trash, a shell of its former self. That was the way her grandmother described her friends as they began to decline and disappear one by one. The ladies from church, her garden club and card parties.
Am I giving up my former self, Libby wondered. How would she feel if the news was bad? She squeezed her eyes tighter and willed herself back under the quilt. Could she be as brave in the face of adversity as her grandmother had been or would she cave in, denying the inevitable?
Suddenly, there was a tap on the door followed by the doctor coming into the room. “Hello, young lady,” he said and judging from the expression on his face, she knew the news would not disappoint.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

10/24/06 Free Write

Trying to pour water from an empty basin.


The days has won and all I want to do is

stare into the street & be entertained.


Pushing again,

pushing until there is



The wall that only angers.

Can’t climb it. Can’t destroy it.

Only waiting until it graces me by leaving me


The Simple Truth

No matter what you’re going through it all comes down

To the three simple words:

Don’t give up.

It’s either that or lay on the ground,

become one with it.

There is an appeal to both.

Sound of the Street

And old man sitting on his porch,

rocking to and fro,

as he whistles and thinks

back to a time of music:

sweet, sweet music.

Of all night jives that would never end.

Of a band that was not of mere men,

but of gods.

The guitarist

summons rain.

The drummer

bangs the thunder.

The singer

unleashes a wind

that blows through one’s core.

The bass takes them all

and serves to a crowd

that is


They want to taste

what it is to be

one of these gods.

It moves through their body.

The pace


The taste


They are the storm

and they will

never die,

but the memory will

as the old man will rock, to and fro,

remembering when music

was a storm that made fed

the seeds of memory.

Think of This the Next Time You Read Your Friend's Blog

Do you think he or she put that

“,but I”

statement in there for you?

So you wouldn’t take offense and, in turn, post

about how your friends

(mainly 1)

are dicks?

At least you aren’t an acquaintance

of the ‘I have no friends” person.

Paul Pikutis
Dear Editor
I am aspiring to become established as a poet and a short story writer. I have written 101 books of poetry over the past several years and 17 novels: I have been submitting my work for the past two years. I am thrilled by acceptance. I am always looking for an audience. I have published 491 poems, 343 short stories, and 86 pieces of art in over 155 periodicals, books and anthologies as well as in radio broadcasts. I have been published in The Storyteller, Ceremony, Write On!!! (Poetry Magazette), Writing Raw and Necrology Shorts. Also I recently won the People’s Choice Award for poetry In The Storyteller for a poem titled Secret Sash. I have been accepted in England, Australia, Canada, Thailand and India. I love to write and offer an experience to the reader. I am a member of The American Poet’s Society as well as The Isles Poetry Association and The Dark Fiction Guild. (My art is viewable at face book,
*Website-SwampLit (
* Website-Shadows at Night-Tide (
* Website-
* E-Magazine/Website- FarthermostDream.Blogspot.Com
* Website-


Ron Koppelberger

Scarlet Fang

Carnal carriage caught in embraces of scarlet fang

And found divisions of day and night-tide blossom,

By dark suns and brilliant nights of fire, the beauty bearing the

Pain of a wonting dream, done in hues of shaded remembrance

And needing kisses shushed by the silence

Of an unbidden desire.

Dark Passages

Genuine bond, restless souls and night-time seasons

Of damp moss, between the cracks of a stone path,

Leading to hedgerows and secret forests of swollen smiles

And pointy ears in black boodle and tender blush,

The lure of long gone beauties in dark passages
Of Eden.

Old Tears

Another in space, time and relative age, given the luster

Of old tears and silhouettes done in Halloween

Cardboard, by dusty old candy lost

In the corners of a gray slated porch, from time gone on

And nights of passionate fervor, the wont for a savored sweet

In realms of empty illusion and vistas passing
In revolution.

The Last Island

Unlike the vast seas of blood borne dark violet and

Perfumed by the veils of a distant horizon,

A barren bewilderment gone to chill winters

North of the last island and south of perditions

Hold, a name wrought unto inky darkness

Left alone in the midst of delivered

Isolations and lost loves.

Ancient Shadow

Bitter coffee, dark hues of velvet and moted sunshine

Dust, by the latticework of an ancient shadow, burnt umber

And polished in adornments of wooden construct,

A silent breath of mist given the spirit of a passing

Ghost, begun in tendrils of spider weave

And tethered old flesh bought by

The dust of old bones and forgotten
Cups of coffee.

Savage Season

In the midst of an echoing whisper,

Caught scarlet in silent ease,

unheard and given the shade of fear wrought real

By the hunting raven and the suns rays at night,

A call unanswered except for the years gone to the
Eternity of a savage season.

Ron Koppelberger

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