Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Shish Kebab Genocide

The Germans made certain history
would know what they did when
they stacked the Jews in camps 
before putting them in gas chambers.

Not so with the Ottoman Turks 
who slaughtered Armenians
in 1915 and for years thereafter.
More than a million Armenians died.

Today their kin live like Jews
in diaspora the world over.
Had the Turks taken time to chunk 
Armenian corpses and put them

on skewers held over a fire
struck for a festive dinner, 
the world would know today
the Ottoman feast was a holocaust

raging hot as the German slaughter
that claimed six million Jews. 
Today no pope would have to call it 
genocide when others waffle and won’t.

Donal Mahoney
THE LAST LETTER    [Stefanie Bennett]
All evening spent under
The blue glaze of her eyes,
And the imported night-shade
Of a once fine satin.
The hop-scotch designed socks,
Knitted in her Nation’s colours -
Only three pair, that time,
Because of the talking.
“It’s getting close to winter.”
Is what she said. “Always,
Someone’s at some front.”
Then, tiredly -
“Always children. Cold. Threadbare.”
The needles were ridged. Twisted.
But sufficed. Loyally, they’d
Worked fifty taut years. “Hands...
My needles are hands”-
“The extensions of the heart.”
She died –, on an overcast day.
In Balmain it was.
How many knew she lived?
Only the landlady and those
Who dig graves for paupers
... And I, and a Polish postman,
Whose load
Been lightened.
[Balmain; Sydney, Australia].
     Hillary, at bat, with her personal Blackberry,
Or switch hitting, for convenience, with an IPad or IPhone,
     Striking out while swinging away at a "handful" of "typical" private e-mails,
Trying her "easiest" to steal her way "home."
     But throwing a variety of pitches, Republicans,
Enough GOP hopefuls possibly running for Captain to more than field a team,
     Cleared her dugout of all but drama, not necessarily a plus for her party pennant race, skipping practice...
...Down the stretch could actually make it harder for Hillary to achieve her White House dream.
     And then there's the injuries, part and parcel of hardball,
The self inflicted wounds can take a toll...and may...
     ...Accumulate...become career ending...Democrats have no other power hitters to call up,
Putting them in the cellar long before Opening Day.
     How many times have baseball owners paid a huge salary,
Just to see "inevitable" expectations for the post season dashed,
     Beware donors to the Clinton Foundation, those who forked over inordinate speaking fees,
"Hidden" quid pro quo eggs put all in one basket can easily be hunted and bashed.
     As we prepare for the 2016 Fall Classic, minor and major leaguers in Spring training,
All eyes in camp on the ERA of a sunglasses shaded superstar with great "control,"
     But unless Hillary starts slugging solo home runs, she'll be called "out" stumbling over the Benghazi bags by the Uranium umpire,
 Slick Willie's fans' nostalgia for his championship seasons can only get her so far toward her goal. 
Karen Ann DeLuca

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

 The Clinton cash scandal sounds suspiciously similar to what Virginia's former Governor and First Lady were tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison for within the past year. Chicken feed and amateuristic compared to the financial exploits of Bill and Hill; the same (so far) in that there was no direct smoking gun quid pro quo evidence, but plenty of "coincidences" from which to infer a deliberate pattern and much more than a mere appearance of impropriety. In an attempt to salvage his political career, Bob McDonnell flaunted his religiosity, attempted to sell a saga of marital discord and disconnection, and slaughtered  his social climbing spouse by throwing the materialistic mother of his children under the bus. It smelt false and "fowl." The jury didn't buy it; neither did we. But there's still the appeal.
 And then we have the "pros," the way, way, way, less than candid former First Couple of our country, unless you count our 41st President's not so secret propensity for philandering. With a fresh batch of duplicitous dealings coming home to roost, and surprisingly being subjected to a Grade AA inspection, will Hillary preemptively "egg" her husband in a mad scramble to rescue her candidacy to crack the glass ceiling of the Oval Office? Rumor has it she has quite an arm! Clinton McNuggets! How else can she stay out of the fire and in the teflon cocoon of the campaign frying pan and control the heat? The vast right wing conspiracy victim card is all chewed up.
 What neither the McDonnells nor the Clintons seem to comprehend is that the climate has changed, and I am not talking about global warming. The bailout of those "too big to fail" ruffled quite a few feathers among the taxpaying "down-and- out-sized" and caused a cultural consciousness and compassion shift to "nail and jail." With the good times still not really rolling, that sentiment has solidified, and the greed and graft of the "in and out of government set" are no longer going to be forgiven as a given. What has remained constant is that the cover up is always worse than the crime. To those "caught" in the transition, no pun intended, truth and trust are the keys to unlocking the self imposed coop and keeping out of a very real one. It's no time to be a chicken and hide.
Karen Ann DeLuca

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Undocumented Zombies

The nice thing about being dead
is you no longer care if the doctor 
mucked up your diagnosis and the  

pharmacist gave you the wrong pills.
You're cozy now in a comfy casket 
six feet below all the carnage  

in the world, without a worry, when 
a mastodon tsunami rolls over your 
peaceful cemetery and uproots 

thousands of caskets, tossing them 
high in the sky and forcing you 
and all the other zombies to float

You discover no port will take
undocumented zombies.
You have no papers, after all; 

you can't prove who you were or are
so you and the other zombies float 
for God knows how long since

God may not believe in zombies.
This is a rupture not a rapture.
And while you float, your lawyer

meets with your relatives who  
no longer weep about your passing.
They smile as he reads your will.

They plan on taking a family cruise 
with the proceeds from your estate. 
They'll dine on lobster and steak,

lay waste continuous buffets while
you and the other zombies float 
further out, unable to find a port 

where citizens will bury the likes of you.
Property values will drop, they shout.
They can't drop their signs and let you in. 

Donal Mahoney
Near Genius, like Almost Coughing

I am composed of mostly water.

The glacial shelf is melting.
The experts expect water levels
to rise.

Deductive reasoning:

I will get taller
and fill out
and need a whole new
before too

Now you see
why I scored 136
on my IQ Test.

There is no fooling

From Here to Maternity

The blow up doll
that came through the mail
was impossible to

She had holes
where there were not supposed
to be holes.
So I shaved my beard
and glued the hair to her back.

Then I balled up all the socks
in my sock drawer
and threw them against the wall
like I was pitching the world

Love it or Leave it

I eat again
at my favourite restaurant.

A secret little hole in the wall
that only the locals seem
to know.

With cheap plastic red-checkered
table coverings
and the best food.

And I like it because it is quiet.
There are no rednecks there.
The ones that tailgate you in jacked up trucks
and always say:
love it or leave it
as if they were words from the lost gospel
of St. Cletus.

Love it or leave it.
A redneck ultimatum.

As I pay my bill at the cash
and head for the exit
I wonder why I can’t
do both.

Maybe this is Why Van Gogh Did It?

The kid on the pavement struggled
to move his head
while two older boys held it
firmly in place,
turned to one side
so a third boy
leaning over the screaming child
could hock a loogie,
a long throaty thick one from the depths,
letting it fall closer and closer to the ear
then sucking it back up at the last moment
before it dropped finally into the ear canal
and the older boys ran off




















Kennedy through the Streets of Dallas
with the Top Down

launch a lawsuit
launch a fanzine
launch a rocket to
the moon

spill your milk
spill oil in the North Sea
spill the beans

on Kennedy
through the streets
of Dallas

with the top

Ryan Quinn Flanagan   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Moth Upside Down on the Ceiling

This black moth
flew in the front door
of the living room  
the other night 
and has been up 
on the ceiling
ever since.
It's hanging 
upside down
in the same spot
not moving
like a drone waiting 
for instructions.  
I'm in my recliner 
this morning
drinking coffee 
and watching him.
He's an immigrant 
from the light
that shines all night
on the front porch
letting burglars know
I have an AK-47  
should they decide
to drop in.
The last few nights
I've noticed other moths 
fluttering around the light 
perhaps wondering where 
this moth is. 
In his current fix, 
he too may be wondering
how they're doing.
When I was a boy,
there was a protocol
in my family when 
a moth commandeered  
the parlor ceiling.
My father would swing
the fly swatter
and flatten the intruder 
with one splat.
The last three mornings
I haven't seen this moth move.
I wouldn't kill him
even if I had a swatter
But if he were 
an inconvenience,  
like an unintended fetus
found in a womb, 
I still wouldn't do anything. 
We have people trained
to take care of that
and like my father 
they know what 
they're doing.

Donal Mahoney
     Fifty years after the Civil Rights and Women's Movements,
Push back against the '60s, turn the clock, way, way, back,
     Mostly subconscious, rarely expressed,
Could it be why certain groups are under attack?
     We declared ourselves proudly a nation "post-racial,"
When Obama was elected in 2008,
     Despite concern there might be an attempt on his life while in office, seven years later...
...The worst that's happened is the man who go into the White House after jumping the gate.
     But during his tenure other African-Americans lives haven't fared so well,
White cops "carding" to gunning down the unarmed, mostly young over race,
     Blue on Black, growth in incarceration, unemployment, inequalities,
"Brothers" perhaps being targeted in the Leader of the Free World's place?
     Which leads US to the ladies, headlines: campus rapes...sexual assaults in the military...
...Entitled athletes practicing their "hits" on wives, girlfriends, and kids,
     Misogynist males giving "liberation" lipservice, actions speak louder than words,
What, you say, does this have to do with upcoming Presidential bids?
     Overtly ambitious to be a "first," dues paid entitled...Here's Hillary...
...Standing on the stump of sisterhood, waving the "war on women" wedge worldwide,
     If she wins the nomination, then the office, more tension and backlash, this time based on gender?
Half a century of "progress," two "transformational" elections in a row - Enough! Widening the "house divide?"
     In a republic already rife with domestic "discord,"
In and out of the home, physical harm, emotional/verbal abuse, financial chains,
     The emasculated using violence to assert power over the more vulnerable,
Could an unintentional consequence of shattering the glass ceiling of the Oval Office be a reversal of feminist gains?
     Wife of the first "Black" President, the goals of the Girls' Club pinned to her pantsuit,
Messianic expectations - more - again - impossible to meet,
     As we mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, will all the changes rooted in the resolution of that conflict...
...Be epitomized, and then go down to defeat? 
     "Hot mess" on our hands, why pick a politician who's polarizing, with potential to amplify "all of the above?"
Wouldn't someone avuncular, who can calm the country, way, way, down, be the wiser way to go?
     The Clinton machine comes with decades of baggage and continuing many macro and micro reasons why...
Right now, for US, the answer to the question "Ready for Hillary?" has to be a resounding "NO!"
Karen Ann DeLuca

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Here and there, I catch her eye.
A moment in her vision and then
a long time suffering through her blindness.
It's my fault I'm sure.
Sometimes., I'm all I've ever been.
Others, what I have come to.
It all depends on what she gets for her glances.
The guy with the gray-flecked two-day growth,
head hung low over a dying beer.
Or the one who's cruised the world,
who's taken part, acquired and given.
I could be a drunken fool by night's end
and her looks will find better things to do.
Or I could push the glass away,
stand to my attention,
exit that bar on a back street in Quito,
continue on my journey,
propelled in part by her admiring stare.
In the first version, I'm here and lost to her.
In the second, I'm gone but remain.


Sick and sore. It's the arthritis.
Will you marry me?
I take a pill in the morning
and one before bed-time.
Can you remember that?
I am deathly afraid of fire.
And yes, I smoke two packs a day.

I have my habits.
And I snore like God.
Plus I spit a lot and wipe
it up with my wrinkled feet.
And the TV must be loud
so I can hear it
and you must be soft
so I can hear the TV.

I sing old war songs in the shower.
And I show old war scars
to strangers.
My mother is a sacred animal.
And I don't believe the dog I
had as a boy is dead.
My memory is going
but don't worry,
I'll write your name down
some place where I can always see it

Sex? I'm male
as if you didn't know.
And income? There's my army
pension and I still own that
desert block in Texas.

Most of me works.
And the parts that don't
are great for offending cousins.

Please, please,
if we don't wed soon I'll be dead.
Still available
but I won't go into details.


Four kids, baseball caps worn backwards,
t-shirts, jeans and Nikes,
skate-board the slopes of
the old dried-out canal.
They leap, they dive,
sometimes crash,
but mostly they swerve around each other,
come to rest in the dregs of slime,
high-five, back-slap, sigh.

I watch from a bench high above,
in a fit of long time jealousy -
if only there is something I do
that is such a willing synthesis
of coordination and dare,
limits and beyond,
camaraderie and Quixote,
proud bumps, glowing bruises,
instant gratification.

One boy ascends in a mad dash,
brakes at the horizontal,
then pushes off
from concrete catapult,
flips over, summersaults,
lands halfway down the slope
with ease.

I'm flabbergasted.
Up to that point,
I'd have been content enough
for my pain to want me.

John Grey


Ed's wife found a sinkhole
in the yard a year ago
a foot wide, several feet deep

and she wanted it filled.
No problem said Ed.
The sinkhole is hidden 

behind a big bush 
next to their garage.  
Sometimes a feral cat, 

good as its eyes may be,
falls into the hole at night,
never to come out.

The yowling can go on
longer than a week.
Neighbors around 

Ed’s stockade fence 
ask where the yowling
is coming from and Ed 

asks them if they
have a cat in heat.
They always say no

and the questions stop.
Meanwhile, feral cats, 
once a plague in Ed's yard,

no longer crouch
in the foliage and leap 
to pluck robins and 

cardinals out of the air.
Birds can worship now
at Ed’s suet and feeders, 

wipe their beaks in peace,
serenaded at times
by the yowling.

Donal Mahoney

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

C'mon Hillary
     Madison Avenue made "Main Street" montage rollout video,
But to champion the middle class, start to finish, you have to engage,
     Stiff salutation in conclusion won't cut it, C'mon Hillary,
Delete your "fun" deficit and let some personality out of that carefully crafted cage.
     Crossing the country, couture Chevy, full of mystery, but where's the magic?
Twenty-five minutes at Chipotle, unrecognized, beyond low key to no fuss,
     Mingling with the ordinary people means more than sitting sunglasses shielded among them, Hillary O!
Just craving a burrito? There's take out and drive thru. Missed opportunity. Is to use the bathroom why you bothered to get off the bus?
     Standing on the stump of sisterhood, concern for kids, fighting for families,
Sharing stories about your parents and growing up Methodist, that's great!
     But you're a Baby Boomer bride, put his hopes and dreams first and he cheated...
The Girls' Club of your generation - and probably others' - can easily relate.
     Talk about that gender issue, how you're "every woman," why "it's your turn now" is personal, on deciding to stay or to go,
Brains behind Bubba, worked while he played, you and Tammy Wynette aren't apart that far,
     The female vote's not a given, if you want it, no more "make up," no more masks, C'mon Hillary,
Come clean, let your hair down, and finally show US who you really are.
     Because fake Facebook friends don't turn out on Election Day,
Sky high on the scandalmeter, empathy and sympathy are the only way for you to go,
     Cashier, cook, cry about the conjugal "conversations" in lofty lingo...
...Mostly mum, won't connect you with how to help John and Jane Doe.
Karen Ann DeLuca

Sleet on the turnpike
in the middle of the night 
but I keep driving,
both hands on the wheel,
nowhere to pull off,
and a yellow bus
comes over the line
and kisses my truck.
That's all I remember.
Now I'm in bed,
wired to things,
unable to move,
listening to a doctor 
telling my wife,
"It's been two weeks,
no improvement."
He asks her nicely
if we should let him go,
the dimwit bastard.
If I could, I'd scream 
but I can't even
wiggle my toes.

Donal Mahoney
     Racism running rampant and casual on campuses,
Where sexual assaults have also come to the fore,
     All that whining about the high price of tuition,
Is this worth - and what - we're going five or six figures into hock for? 

     Or is it athletics...architecture...amenities...or alcohol?
Sheepskin status? Now that it's made to seem required that everyone have post secondary degrees,
     What happened to learning? True "A's?" The Education-Industrial Economic Complex...
...Has resulted in credentials for cash, locked in for life to consecutive, continuing fees. 

     With liberal arts on the decline; lipservice given to critical thinking,
And women's only colleges like Sweetbriar approaching their demise,
     Making schooling all about STIM; go into tech even if you have no passion or talent...when the job market saturates and changes...
...may result in a country uncompetitive and unhappy, not being well rounded is not wise. 

     As high school seniors receive their acceptance letters and contemplate...
...Their Fall homes and compare offers of financial aid,
     Look at your parents, Baby Boomers guilted into the "certain" careers of their generation,
Lest history repeat itself, life and work's about more than a means for bills to be paid.
Karen Ann DeLuca

Monday, April 13, 2015

     Bill Clinton, the first Black President,
During his tenure we got "Three Strikes,"
     Opening the door for the burgeoning Prison-Industrial Complex,
With African Americans receiving a disproportionate number of "likes."

     He also oversaw NATO expansion,
Gobbling up former Warsaw Pact members for the organization's lunch,
     Breaking promises made when the Cold War ended; butting in nonmembers' business,
All putting Putin's panties now in a bunch.

     Have we forgotten he failed to "take out" Osama?
Setting up 9/11 and one excuse for his wife to vote for the Iraq War,
     Kissing his fiscally responsible handling of the deficit and debt good-bye,
All because the Lewinsky affair strained his relationship with Al Gore!

     And then there's the repeal of Glass Steagall,
The grassroots of the Great Recession of 2008,
     "Lucky" seven years later, stocks soaring, bubbles blowing...
...with a leader wedded to Wall Street, literally and 2016, the same fate?

     Not last and not least, NAFTA, that "giant sucking sound,"
Prophetically forewarned Ross Perot in a 1992 debate,
     The template for future trade agreements, foreign policy that signed, sealed, and delivered...
...the middle class' current "everyday" low or no wage "job" fate.
     Why in the world with many of today's problems stemming from the policies of his Administration,
Would Americans elect Hillary and get Slick Willie back in the "twofer" deal?
     It takes a Clinton to finally clean up after one?
Knowing where the bodies are buried not enough to stamp "that woman" with the Presidential Seal!

     Yes, he's the most popular recent "ex,"
But how many Americans know or have examined HIStory?
     Hillary's vision? Wanting to be the first woman to break the Oval Office glass ceiling?
But what the US needs is first and foremost the key.

     Can she feel all our pain? Standing on the sisterhood stump, corporate champion clothed in the color of money,
How can we trust if she doesn't? Paranoia pinned to her pantsuit, everywhere and everyone a political foe,
     Chafing under decades' long chains...secret server scrub opera......just the tip of the iceberg, inevitable...
...continuing drama when the country needs calm...the best reason why "Ready for Hillary," NO!
Karen Ann DeLuca

Sunday, April 12, 2015

     "Race forward," spoke Starbucks, but were their now back to bantering baristas...
...going to get training - and a raise - to talk to customers about this highly charged topic?
     At corporate, were the cubicles and corridors humming with deep discussion?
Was the company genuinely concerned - or was this a contrived marketing gimmick?
     Because in the case of most of their locations, the slogan was "preaching to the choir,"
Few are in low income and/or racial and ethnic "conflict zones,"
     The moneyed have morphed from donating to conspicuous "feel good" consumption...was this thought to be the next logical leap of faith?
Broaching a subject so hot where it is needed most could have gotten a barista broken bones!
     Ever tried to "reason" with an addict in search of a fix?
How many times have you heard "don't talk to me before I've had my morning cup?"
     And there's everyday etiquette - avoid politics and religion in civil conversation with relative strangers,
Pretentious ploy! Planned for a year, pulled after a the consumer finally starting to get fed up?
     Craft caffeine...logo lust...discriminating drinks...a church on every corner,
Hasn't Howard Schultz already thrust enough of his vision for the world upon US?
     Wake up! Smell the coffee! Exercise freedom of association, "come together" in protest,
Choose not to be continued to be chained to basic brew being relegated to the back of the bus!
Karen Ann DeLuca
CREATION’S CHANT     [Stefanie Bennett]
Do not wake me from
This dream. Do not
Stir the pyre
Or disturb one stone.
The wildflowers are
In abundance
And the hills serene
With their own dreaming.
Whether it be noon
Or night’s haven,
The opposites console
And walk
A skyway fit for
The evolution of mammalia,
And winged chariots
Of soft gold.
To my right
The marshlands murmur
Music of birch flute
And drumming.
To my left, a desert
As bountiful and clear
As permanent spring...
In the distance,
Wise spirits ritualise
The song and dance
Of the everlasting.
Behind me
A fearless rainbow
Bends to kiss
The sacred ground.
Do not wake me from
This dream.
Do not tamper
With what quietude
In which
We live and die.
Do not wake me yet –.
I am ‘not ready’
To face
Too human

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Boysenberry Eyes Awhirl

A Caseworker's Nightmare

In a corner of the room
scribbles of loose yarn soar,
interweave and dive

like coasters at a carnival.
At dusk rats slither from the drain
and barrel through the room

stirring atom puffs of dust
beneath the paper sprung
tongue out from each wall.

Tails wound tight, the rats
skate their figure eights
between the table legs and swirl.

They pause to supper on salami bits, 
gherkin nodes, crusts of ancient bread.
At dawn, with boysenberry eyes awhirl,

they belly back and leap atop the sink.
Popping sounds announce
the drain has called them home.

Donal Mahoney

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Song in Her Valley

When he saw her in heels
he said she’s the one so
he said his “I do,” never to 
climb a different mountain.

That night he began  
at her ankles, climbed 
seams in her stockings,
moved over her hips

and circled her waist,
strolled up her spine and 
stood on her shoulders, 
took a deep breath and

rappelled to the smile 
he saw on her breasts. 
Many years later his life 
is a song in her valley.

Donal Mahoney

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Miss Lakeishia Sings The Blues

Listen, mister, you're a guest
at the Night Owl Club
so you can sit here
all night long, tip me
after every song,
buy me scotch
till the final gong
but none of that will help.

You'll still go home alone
unless some other lady has a need
to make her rent
and sees the opportunity
you offer. It won't be me;
I can't be bothered.
I need a different kind of man,
a man who'll hug me tighter

than my panties can,
a big ole man
whose big ole tongue
will be my tampon
when I'm dry.
Get off that stool
and look in the mirror
behind those whiskey bottles

so you can see what I see.
Then we'll both know why
you can never be that man,
not even for an hour.
I'm no Billie Holiday,
but even with my glasses off,
I can see that you
ain't no John Wayne.

Donal Mahoney

Friday, April 3, 2015

An Unfortunate Remark

The old couple sits in recliners
after dinner the way old couples do
and she tells him what she saw
in the yard that first warm day
and it’s crocuses  and daffodils 
no tulips yet but she knows 
tulips will pop any day 
and he listens because there 
might be a quiz but then

she sees the gun in his lap 
and she asks why it’s there
and he says it’s in case 
she repeats the remark 
she made the night before 
because this time he’ll shoot 
the words out of the air 
quicker than a pheasant
in hunting season and 

blood will splatter 
on the ceiling and walls 
because this time she won't 
put a hole in his heart as she 
did last night and maybe 
the two of them can return 
to who they were before 
she spoke and he survived,
hanging on to life.

Donal Mahoney

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Universal Truths

When Bill was a lad
his parents preached that
Scripture was the truth.

Decades later now
Bill still believes that.
In college, though, 

his professors told him
science was the truth.
Bill still believes that, too.

But there’s another truth
that Scripture and science
never clarified for Bill.

At age 13 he saw it
scratched on a wall
in black graffiti

above a public urinal,
a universal truth he had 
just begun to understand.

The message was
“Big tits are the greatest!
a truth he still believes as well.

Donal Mahoney

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