Thursday, August 16, 2018


Whose nose ring is
The trademark of Millennial  girls
Sits across from me
And we discuss poetry
And one side of her head
Is shaved like
Lizabeth Salamander
From "The Girl With The Dragon
Tattoo" movie,
Hidden under a baseball
Cap, which she wears

Boyish butt hidden under
Baggy jeans
I try to gauge her smile
And see which way she

Tells me one day we'll have
To read poetry to each
Then discuss it and see
What it means.
I glimpse at her breasts
Underneath her t shirt
And she smiled.
I look inside  her and find
Flowers, growing underneath
All that steel.


She sits on a park bench
And watches a man throw
Bread crumbs on the ground
And her body is the same
Color as the sun
And her eyes are taking
In the world as it awakens
I look at her and i'm grateful
Two worlds came together
She is what makes America great
I watch her as she walking
away, lovely as the sun

Coffeehouse Poem # 296

A woman waits online
As i get a cafe au lait
She's wearing a "Mumford
Phys ed t-shirt," the one
Eddie Murphy made
Famous in " Beverly Hills
I point it out to her
And she tells me, she
Wore it, knowing
Only the cool kids
Would get the reference
She comes closer
Her curves, more womanly
Than when she was an
80's teen, but she's still
Easy on the
If i had a Delorean, i'd
Ask her to travel back
With me to the 80's
So we can do the neutron

One  Christmas

my mom's friend, elise
came over and she brought everyone  gifts
and no one thought about daddy
not being around anymore
my brothers and i,  played and rode
our bicycles,  with her kids
and we forgot blacks and whites
weren't supposed to get along
and mama and elise cooked christmas dinner
the way only single moms  could
and visions of empty rooms and closets
where daddy once was, dissappeared

and the world will one day
live up to dr. king's dream
and left and right will only
become directions
and me and friends will celebrate
the holidays
like i did when i was a kid
naive and happy, and there will be
peace on earth

Christmas, cambridge, ohio, 1998

it was blue eyes, red hair and a scottish accent
that reeled me in and lured me
from maine
i played surrogate dad to 3 sons

alex, loved using my laptop and my library card
joshua, caught the football passes i threw
michael was three  and  just michael

we were as rare as the snowflakes
that fell in cambridge, ohio
i temped in a plastics factory
wore flannel shirts, jeans and boots
and channelled my inner springsteen

our only christmas together, maureen's sons
strung popcorn into jewels
and wrapped it around a tree

maureen and i spent some night
in a two step at local bars
tryin to figure out what love was
every time i came into a bar
the dj's offered to play r and b
as a way of making me feel at home
but i liked all music

maureen and the kids
put a black angel at the top
of the tree

they wanted to let me know they accepted me

A spy in the house of love...

I am a spy in the house of love

A 70s wah-wah guitar riff
Signals my arrival
I want you like an
Old school dodge charger
 I want to feel your kisses
Honey sweet
You're as pure as Pam Grier
Lay down on the couch
Like youre in a  Players magazine

Im a spy in the house of love
Im so bad, my elvis sideburns
Are registered lethal
I use my platform shoes
To call you
Tell you to get here!
Pose for me in Daisy Dukes
Flex the LCD digital watch i gave you
We were Bling, before it was
Called that
Walk around in fuck me pumps
Then love me like a Charlie's Angel

Im a spy in the house of love
A Disco soldier of fortune
Ride with me baby
I'm a bad motha...( shut yo mouf ! )
We'll make Technicolor dreams
Even Martin Luther King wouldnt

Im a spy in the house of love
Be the Anais Nin to my Henry Miller
The Adrian to my Rocky
Be a Bond Girl in my dreams


Doesnt care about the world
She  hates the sight
Of it, from her birdcage

She gave a homeless man
 Money, he turned it into
Cake would have served
Him  better
She lives her life through
Another man's dream
And another woman's
She tried to make money
Her slave
 But instead,  she became its servant

But she's just pissed because
Her better half's  holding and kissing
Someone else in stormy

                                                            Laptop charger

Unfortunately, i dont have a
Laptop charger for an
Apple computer, otherwise
I would let the lady a couple
 Of tables down use it
I dont want to put a nationality
To her face
I could care less about that
I dont care if she is one
 Of  the ones that people use as
As a scapegoat for the worlds ails

I dont care if she is one of
The ones  people
 Say keep america from
Being great
Im only sorry i cant help
Her out
Im not going to put a name
 To her skin color ,even
 Tho its like the coffee in my
 A little more tan, and it would
 Be as lovely as a coconut
 She probably wont die the way
 Eric Garner or Alton Sterling
She'll just sit at her macbook and type
And hope it lasts as long as it needs to
I just hope she gets her work done
Like i hope she'll be able to walk
The streets or travel
And not have to worry if america
Still belongs to her

Erren Kelly

Somebody Said Smoking was Allowed

how goes it dear friend
heard you were friendly with
heroin outlaws bar coded
near gun pt. ave
where westward obituaries set fire
to your pocket
like lighting after two nickels
& a quarter
but that was before nothing i had done
was forgiven
when i was waiting on anyone
except her
funny thing, though
sally blew her brains on butch
& the film reel snapped quickly
fading into light hearted fun
put the dime near the laundry
list & see it explode!
listen, when i saw what she had done my
bones filled oceans
she played with my soul
like a bench warrant that sits
near the radiator

Jonathan Hine’s work has appeared most recently in Hobo Camp Review, In Between Hangovers, Synchronized Chaos, Pyrokinection, Midnight Lane Boutique and Anti-Heroin Chic.

Because it is a Stone

Because it is a stone
the fire hits it, moves around,
changing shape like a wave.

Because grief is not a word
that counts footsteps or encapsulates
the butcher’s madness, just builds like
a deep stagnant pool of a pond – one drop,
one drop, rising.

Because all the vegetables have not been picked through,
and more people hold compassion than they do hate,
the tree can grow, the fountain can flow up and make
a statement of solidarity, a sound
peaceful to those who are near.

Because the robin keeps coming back
to sit on my lawn, stares at me and waits
for my greeting before moving on.

Because hope is red eyes stinging,
but sight unimpaired,
and the darkening shadows darkening
the day-to-day landscape drift -
sometimes far away.

Because there is early morning, peppermint tea,
and love abides in everything living,
I can walk another step, another day,
bury the corpse of a treasured friend,
and place something beautiful
(a stone, a whisper) beside the grave.


Bitter patience, counting moonlight beams
on fledging grass stems.
Endure for the law that presses heavy and cold
against your chest.
Endure because there is no leaving
only traveling on.
Weapons put away, dressing
strictly for good form.
The planets rock back and forth,
bump against each other, but like us, are bonded,
unalterably glued to their personal constellations.
Irrational hope is the shadow I have,
the silent zone of my cortex that defeats reality, yet below
the storm gathers and changes course for no one.
What used to be roots are now tossed away, ripped
on the ridges of sidewalks like bubble gum wrappers.
Storm that has no subliminal meaning, is only storm,
gun shots in the wind. Patience.

Wait for the unwanted guest to go. Wait for your life
to mature finally into what you wish it would be.


Time and the matrix point
of nerves that sound off like
a dinner bell, riveting through
the body, vibrating the bones and all
that stands between.

You speak of shifting plateaus,
but the paint hasn’t even left the brush,
the walls are cracked, veined and under
the watchful eyes of those who walk the halls.

The rules you treasure are intricate masterpieces
of divine tapestry but they are not the mud-sling
upheaval, unpredictable holy heartache,
muscle aches that mark us as we grow old, and touch
each other in the day-to-day of waking up,
sharing the bathroom, the kitchen, animals
who belong with us, depend on us, and sickness.

Here is my watering can. It is sufficient. It too has wisdom.
One eye only that blends and interprets all perceptions.
Here is my tale, my acts of shade, shelter and sun.
The seraphim drive home dreams in vows on fire,
born from nebulas and the hands
of the bricklayer and secretary.

Yours is one way, powerful, yes, but so are the trees,
a toddler’s temper tantrum, the Lord’s Prayer more so –
clasped hands, no separation, helpless, wordless,
at the beginning, saved.

Promised Land

Past the burnt-down barn,
past the tracks of a narrow road
far into wilderness chaos, the clearing is found,
shelves are emptied, floors are once again seen.
The house is open like lips learning
how to talk instead of scream. There is peace
in the sound waves, animals are
from the verge of death, upright, energy restored.

It was a long walk to the podium to finally have your say,
but the effort has paid off, the love given was not wasted
or disfigured permanently, was not solidified into
a lost-forever horror show as we thought it would.

Gold has returned to our pockets, water faucets are running,
laughter is common, coming from under doors.
Love is like it once was when we had our Rooms of Joy –
when we had each other, explorers of unending light.

Around the tree I dance my praise.
Gratitude I never expected,
years of trying to pet the violent horse’s mane,
touch its forehead with a kiss –
now she is still, soft and free.

We made it past the dumpyards and the
foreign countries full of war and pillage.
We stayed the course, singing when we could, letting go 
of hope in steady increments of necessity,
unravelling the last thread of our faith
until hell overtook. And in those relentless flames
we still believed and asked for mercy.
Mercy has come.

My home is happy once again. My children have returned,
married and bearing the seeds of deep maturity and there,
there, sprouting back after years of dormancy,
those glorious, sacred child-like smiles.


I have fallen by the wayside,
scrapped divinity for a taste
of the overflow.
Everytime speaking, I was
silenced like a nailed board
sealed above my head.

came in ruthless heat pulses
depleting the oxygen, terrorizing
nesting sparrows.
The lap pool was chemically soiled.
All manner of fungi bloomed,
as dark bonds visibly materialized.

Geometric interlocking
dimensional coveralls - covering all -
left side of my body decaying, chomped at
by an unswerving force, asking for my devotion,
demanding unquestioned servitude
regardless of devotion.

Blindly I fell into the river’s fold,
no strength left in my upper arms
so I drifted to the wayside, into
muddy misquote egg-beds
and the hiding nooks of snakes

left there to breathe in fish-corpse fumes,
play footsie
with the washed ashore water-logged frogs,
dreaming amphibian dreams.


Call it in,
into the palm,
into the spoon,
the upsidedown shell.
Hold its liquid grace
and walk slowly over hunchback hills,
tall weeds and cracked pavement.
Do not spill a drop.

Shield it from the sun
so it will not evaporate.
Shield it from the stars
so it does not recognize its kin
and claim its home back amongst them.
Shield it from the children
who naturally harness such vitality.
And also, from the animals,
they will gather it in their mouths
and feed it to their early-summer offspring,
knowing its worth.

Instead, call it in
because this small measure is only yours,
as long as you call it in and let all other things go,
go to serve your house and others.
As long as you know, possession here is paramount,
protection is integrity, is the way
to keep the sponge saturated, your jaw firm
in prayer.

Call it in,
into the brown jar on your sacred shelf,
anoint it secret, pay the wages
to ensure its safety. Sip from it,
sometimes a little, sometimes more than a little,
like rejoicing, like uncoiling, caught
pure, naked, in a space fully lit with
no off-switch or walls.

Allison Grayhurst

Long bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Four of her poems were nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2015/2018, and one eight-part story-poem was nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017. She has over 1200 poems published in more than 475 international journals and anthologies. In 2018, her book Sight at Zero, was listed #34 on CBC’s “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.
Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published sixteen other books of poetry and six collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;
Short bio: Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Five times nominated for “Best of the Net”, 2015/2017/2018, she has over 1200 poems published in over 475 international journals and anthologies. She has 21 published books of poetry, six collections and six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay; 
            Collaborating with Allison Grayhurst on the lyrics, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter/musician Diane Barbarash has transformed eight of Allison Grayhurst’s poems into songs, creating a full album. “River – Songs from the poetry of Allison Grayhurst” released October 2017.

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