Saturday, April 6, 2019

Coffeehouse Poem # 336

I see a woman from a
Few days ago, entering
The coffeehouse
Her ebullience  could melt
All the snow on the ground
Her red checkered flannel shirt
Black jeans and winter boots
Make  her the poster girl for
Lobster boat chic
I tell her i,'m charmed
By her loveliness
She says, she smiles
Cos it helps her stay

A Stranger In Moscow

Moscow is a long way from 
But America will never
let her children go hungry
and the song plays again
as men sit at the table
in the community kitchen
searching for brotherhood
we still believe in democracy
though hackers crown our
I tell a friend about a russian
poetry book, i downloaded
on my tablet
i wonder if anna karenina
could spit rhymes on point
and look cool in bling ?
i pray to god daily, but i still
believe the election was
but he's just a man,
we are a country
i won't allow myself to
be blinded by the bling
of the christmas lights
and black friday specials
i know who i bow to
i hear the song again
as i walk the streets
of moscow
i let the rain pelt me
it feels like diamonds
a comrade walks by me
he speaks to me in a 
" moose and squirrel "
it feels like home
                                    --For Andy

Mary Jane And Winter

Snow rarely fell on Hillsboro
But it blanketed the town
And Mary Jane took her daughters
Blake and Miranda to make
Blake said Mary Jane was
As pale as a snowflake
Which Miranda was quick to
Point out was a derogatory term
Used to describe a millennial
Who was progressive,  which
Mary wasn't, but that she was
Merely the color of a snowflake
Blake laid down in the snow 
And made a snow angel
Which made Mary Jane
Pretend she was with the
Black Diver skiing.
She saw the way he glided
On the skis, like an
Expert. When Mary Jane
And The Diver went ice
Skating, they held each other
Hands as they spun around
Mary Jane looked at Miranda
And Blake, pretending they 
We're biracial children
Night married to day
She caught a snowflake
And held it in her hand
And thought about the 
Black Diver
And how a simple choice
Could have lasting 

Audrey ( Nude )

I've looked at thousands of
Pictures in my life
A woman's body is
A poem
She  is a song
that doesn't begin
Or end

Yet, when you gave me
The black and white
Nude of you
Stretched out on the
I accepted it, though  not
Eagerly, but with
As your better half
Stood in the

I looked  at pictures of his
Horses, like you, you
Were just another
Trophy he

I no longer have
your picture
And just as well...

Why be reminded of
Of what you can't

Coffeehouse Poem # 328

The barista walks around
As dedicated as a worker
Bee, her arms bloom with
She sings, therefore, she is
Her hair like fire
Is all the warmth I need
I stand outside to take a
And little pieces of
Her are falling as
White Christmas comes

The Trombone Player

I came to the recital
hoping to get a little of
myself back
i watch her walk around
practicing, a young black woman and
her brother, helping her
set up for the performance
she walks around, brass
horn shining, like i once
did, her sound, a 
fingerprint, floating through
the room on it's wings
i had to fight the senior band
members, as part of my initiation
into marching band

i hope she doesnt mind me using
her as a conduit, to keep
my love of music alive
she continues to practice,
her hair of mini dreads
flaming, like a proud torch

in her face, i see myself
again, 35 years ago,
riding the journey of black
notes, from afternoon practice
to pep rallies, to game days, to
concerts and symphonies, I now

she puffs her cheeks
as she stands in the 
playing the song i've always

Erren Kelly

Saturday, March 23, 2019


Hectate was always the one who entertained us.
Latin was never spoken here. How strange.
Yes, we always left gifts, quite a few,
enough to satisfy wild dogs, selfish men jackals,
and Rhiiannon who flew here to satisfy me
watching through the open bathroom door,
the shower curtain missing, shampoo coursing through my hair,
Saturday night, late. (Perhaps it was Sunday morning, early.)
Our gods watched us imprison the fugitives deep in the sand
until only their heads were exposed.
Then the earth began to shake and roll releasing a fresh spring.
Carob trees sprouted out of nowhere and there was shade and   
Then an angel appeared badly disfigured as a foreign trader.
Not able to fold her wings, she kneeled before father and son.
There was no need for all of this. These men were thieves.
They deserved punishment, but she knew of them what we did not.
With a look she silenced us into another place.
An earthquake was not necessary to set them free.
This too happened at the crossroad.


His thin face consternation
peeled back into anguish.
The air cruel, the wind,
A lack of sunlight, but no clouds,
The sky gray blue/blue gray.
He is too thin, too straight,
Sickness inside cheeks and eyes.
Cold seeps into all things,
A cold moisture of mold and distrust,
Everywhere a browning of grass.
Michael H. Brownstein
Supple singed

This morning
had a rainbow come through the panes
ate it off my breakfast plate

felt the fertile soil of the valley beat
under my hot feet
on the hot concrete

and will crack
hard slew will come up
one of the hundred million-year plates
shall roll over us

mess with the dead and they come in your dreams

This morning
the dog I put down came on the breeze
stinking lovely as she was
dozing in a spot of sun
Sweet Pepe arrives through the buckling screen

and the Buddha comes also to me
warm squinting lifted snarling
depends whether
I myself am supple
or singed.

(After Peggy Stone) 

And now

in the midst of my handiwork
poking through the din and the silence
I hear my neighbor sobbing
and I remember

he has lost his wife

he has an aria playing
and he is sobbing

and I look out now of my reverie and I see the bars of rain
I can only see them now
bars of the gently falling prison

bars that fall and rise
with her voice
his aria
his wife

my neighbor goes on sobbing and I see
things I don't see always

he is alone in his grief

it is as this work is
but I would like to go to him.


Sometimes Of Course You

don't have a choice
sometimes your lover gets ill and dies
and this brilliant vibrant compassionate person
full of wonder

but remains in your heart

whatever is comfortable for you
staring through the abyss of the nucleus
this is what she offers you

rain bridges
north poles
the sky nail

a black hole

you will cross dark space on the wings of blackbirds
you will become the self-sustaining furnace
that you are
and your wife will exclaim
in wonder

and she is with you again.

Henry Grier Stanton


Two trucks pass, honking
playfully on Valentine’s
Day.  Is this what love is
for giants, like two behemoths
passing in midnight water?


I gave my name
into the metal box.  Sadly,
it could not be heard.
One day I will find more
than the first letter hiding
inside a microphone.

Gave a Word

The writer broke a word
like bread to share.  One loaf
of lines fed thousands like
the age-old story.  Then he
rang the word like a bell
in the street for a century.
Write for Yourself

A wise teacher says, I write
like I want to read.  Don’t spend
your time crafting for others.
Language is your own warm bath.
Soak, wallow, wrinkle in its wave.
JD Dehart

Monday, March 11, 2019

Two days ago
the sun caught me stealing light
to illuminate a poem,
demanded restitution,
then reported me to Mother Nature
who posted my likeness about the land.
Soon, the ocean, forest, birds, flowers, et. al.
filed suit for substantial abuse
and complacent philandering without permission.
I pleaded guilty;
admitted taking breath from wind
for deliverance,
marshmallows from the sky to sweeten song,
and rage from the ocean
to instill a sense of urgency.
Convicted and confined to a windowless room,
no writing, visitation
or glimpses of stolen sights,
I was sentenced to imagine beauty
without embezzlement
and the wholesale exploitation of words.


He imagines us on the beach,
soft sand at our feet
just after lunch
when warm rays and a delicate breeze
bid us rest.
He considers my arm around her waist,
my body sideways against bikini curves,
surrounded by seagulls
that squawk for attention
and the litter seas throw.
It’s been so long for him. 
He has difficulty deciding
what may be real
and occasionally doubts
the idea of our very existence.

All day
I’ve listened to the song
of a single cardinal
ripple stillness
just outside my office window. 
An opera in red tux
his throat is a spring
stretching an aria
through the cluttered house
of sound, awakening memories
of events since past.
The timbre enlivens my heart.
I can almost touch
what once was
as it floats between
song and wind.  An inflection
so crisp, that I’m convinced
the cardinal sings for more
than to merely texture
the commotion.  His tune
incites another gift.
He performs daily,
tireless and without hoarseness,
to make sad hearts flutter.

In the beginning it must have been
that the Neanderthal
emerged from his cave
early one day
into a cold and ruthless world
and noticed for the first time
sun’s reflection glistening
upon lake serenity
between twin peaks
of a snow covered summit.
And speechless
as he might have been
for images never seen,
he fell to his knees,
staring mutely,
unable to excise
the swell in his soul
and realized
each morning thereafter
would speak differently.
Staring from the moon
in a dream
I saw people of Earth
meander aimlessly
from minute cavities,
following burrows
to dutiful destination
and back again.
Some moved faster
others carried more
and few were prostrate to fantasy.
Yet above each hill
hovered ghosts of intentions
not resting, but preparing
markers with singular openings
where well meaning will be placed.
On a tree
by a narrow street
upon an bending bough
I perch in a dream
over people in a field
hovering about
an empty hole
obstructed by a box
with contents
of what use to be me.
Some are sobbing,
most are somber
and few hide
a reluctant obligatory glint.
All see the hyphen
between random dates
engraved upon granite,
transform my toil
to a trophy abbreviation
for living.
Michael Keshigian

It is an never ending shape
that can make you dizzy.  
It begins and ends the 
exact same way.

Reach for the center,
and maybe you will see
things in a different perspective.

A collage could emerge 
challenging all your previous
thoughts and actions.

Why stay the same 
when you can change
even in midstream.
Lily Tierney

Friday, March 8, 2019

how much money she wants
the next woman
that calls me
i'm simply just
going to ask how
much money she
there's no point
in the bullshit
even this jaded
fuck knows the
at war with itself
i wake up each morning
right as i'm getting ready
to fuck some beauty in
my dreams
i think it's the clearest
example that my body
is at war with itself
there are no winners
in this struggle
simply just another
day closer to death
if i had a nickel
here comes
another jesus
freak that tells
me god loves
i said if i had a
nickel for every
time someone
said that to me
i would never
have to worry
about money
again in
my life
and obviously,
god stopped
caring about
me when i
decided to
wake the fuck
up and face
the facts
he's the one
that fucked
up with the
free will
after all
they tend to catch me staring
i see these
women in
their thirties
and can tell
the ones that
played soccer
or volleyball
of course,
they tend
to catch
me staring
i'll just smile
and if they
ask, i tell
them i just
a woman
with a nice
i have learned
over the years,
the way i
to duck just
in case
stuck in that horrible
area of not being
rich and not being
poor enough to
qualify for
it makes it pretty
reasonable to
consider suicide
the most viable
would fall for
it's a short skirt
that leaves not
much to the
that's too bad
she's the type
of beauty that
my imagination
would fall for
time and time
J.J. Campbell

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

labyrinth, in winter

says cold is one thing says
pain is another
and then to combine the two

to follow the footsteps in the
snow until they reach the river

mother of someone’s baby

son of another dead soldier

it doesn’t mean
she didn’t love him just because
her hands were tied to the headboard
but then why all of the blood?

why all of the bitter february
sunlight hard against these
dirty windows?

seems like somebody’s lying

seems like there were at least
three of them and
taking turns with a video camera

seems like the ice was too thin

just not sure if he was pushed
or if he jumped


and the killer is caught,
and his girlfriend weeps

the baby has no chance,
of course,
and the apartment is cold,
the windows loose in their casings,
the grey light of january filling
the rooms like sleeping gas

smell of gasoline,
approach of trains and
               then the fade

an abandoned factory in the
center of town

a wreath of dead flowers
hanging on
the fence that surrounds it

something small for the
world to revolve around

grey lies the kingdom

a slow collapse
in an upstate landscape

an apology

not sincere and devoid of all meaning
but why would you ever think
you deserved more?

why would the dogs ever bother to do
anything but fuck you in your sleep?


it’s not the boredom that
kills you in the end
but the pain

death with the head of a crow
riding a silver horse and
it’s the past you’re afraid of
                and it’s the future

it’s all those bright blue
sunfilled days in between

the sound of your name spilling
out of an ex-lover’s mouth

went back to his wife after he
got bored hitting you,
but still wanted to be friends

still wanted to taste your tears

laughed when he told you
it was better than nothing


one more asshole wandering
blind & lost in the desert

one more starving poet
one more gracious liar and a
neverending supply of teenage girls
waiting to be tied up and
fucked in front of
the camera

feels like we need a war here
or some new group of people to
persecute and crucify

feels like rain

silver sky streaked with grey and
these old men hiding behind
locked doors

these children shooting at cats
& dogs with pellet guns

shooting each other and laughing and
then the body of someone’s runaway
daughter pulled from the river

been raped of course and
you can give her a name and
you can give her a face and still
                                  no one cares

invent new religions to justify
your atrocities and
then invent new atrocities

build strip malls
between the cemeteries

parking lots filled w/ shining chrome,
mouths filled w/ rust, and this
still the desert
of course
and we are all still lost

words are either
spelled out in neon or
they’re meaningless

no one here will ever
admit to promising you a
future worth inheriting


feels so fucking right caught in the
undertow at the edge of town,
eyes closed against the copper sky and dreaming,
sweating god’s blood into weed-filled back yards,
into the weed-filled parking lots of abandoned shopping plazas,
and from here there is only the interstate
to take you to more of what you’ve left behind

from here it is only 10,000 miles to the
sacred shrine of st maria

to the ghost of beth made flesh

and i remember her smile and
the feeling of holiness and
i remember waves of pure sunlight

i remember being someone better

i forget why i
thought it would ever matter


the sun through
a haze of snow

through a haze of
frozen despair

end of february,
hum of powerlines
and of history,
the bodies of
children slaughtered
in their sleep

defined by fear

the silence after
the last prisoner has
been executed

it is no small
victory not to be
a whore

 John Sweet

Coffeehouse Poem # 336 I see a woman from a Few days ago, entering The coffeehouse Her ebullience  could melt All the snow on the grou...